Business skills key for Blair's CIO

The new government CIO should have private sector experience and IT leadership skills involving business processes and people, industry figures have said.

The new government CIO should have private sector experience and IT leadership skills involving business processes and people, industry figures have said.

The Cabinet Office is about to begin interviewing for a replacement for Ian Watmore, who left the CIO post in January to head up the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit.

Despite progress made under Watmore, the government could still benefit from someone with experience of managing IT and process change in the private sector, said David Roberts, chief executive of the Corporate IT Forum, whose members include IT leaders from FTSE 100 firms.

"Government's decision making process is sloppy and slow and its procurement leaves a lot to be desired," he said.

There were many parallels between large organisations and the government, but the government could learn from the faster decision making processes of the private sector, Roberts added.

Phillip Virgo, strategic advisor at the Institute for the Management of Information Systems, said the successful candidate should have both public and private sector experience. "The key thing is that they should have experience in both sectors in handling complex relationships."

Although the role may not require an IT background specifically, the individual would need enough IT expertise and experience to have credibility with the CIO Council, Virgo said.

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