With just over a decade of experience in the CIO role, Chris Skorsis has seen it change and evolve over the years into a business leadership role. However, he says for CIOs to perform just as well with the business side of things as they do with technology, they need to start equipping themselves with a business education.
Skorsis spoke to CIO Australia about how his business degree helped him step up into a leadership role, the importance of maintaining strong business relationships and phase two of a Wi-Fi infrastructure project at Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC).
What is your background and how did you get to where you are today?
I worked within the Victorian racing industry for over 34 years. I started my career at the Victorian Racing Club and moved across to Racing Victoria Limited when it was established in 1994 as the governing body for administering thoroughbred racing in Victoria.
I started back in 1977 within the IT department and worked my way up. I started off in a software development role as an applications analyst. I hold degrees in computer science and a Master's in business. I worked my way up through the ranks to the role of CIO around the year 2000.
I joined Triforce Australia in July 2011 as a part-time consultant in a business development role, but was only recently appointed to the role of Victorian state manager due to its rapid expansion.
The Triforce philosophy is built on developing long-term business partnerships, we try to understand their business issues and work collaboratively with the customer to solve them. I'm currently working with Moonee Valley Racing Club as its de facto CIO to manage a Wi-Fi infrastructure project.
How has a business degree helped you in your leadership role?
It's invaluable in terms of the role of the future CIO. Understanding the whole business aspect and the strategy required in managing an enterprise IT function is invaluable. Without it I don't think I could have done as well in my CIO role at Racing Victoria Limited and in my current role at Triforce. As a future CIO, you need to have the depth and breadth of understanding, not just of the technology, but even more importantly, the business side of the company.
My Master's is very important and it gave me a whole new perspective in understanding business and then driving business initiatives from the bottom up.
Rather than waiting for the business to come to me, I would drive initiatives from IT upwards. Being able to develop the business within Triforce and grow it commercially in Victoria is something that my Master's degree is helping me to achieve.
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