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CIO Q&A: MVRC CIO Chris Skorsis

Rebecca Merrett | April 4, 2013
Skorsis explains why having a business degree is “paramount” to the CIO role

I think a Master's degree in terms of qualifications is paramount for the future CIO. I also think being part of the senior management team is essential to continue to stay relevant within an enterprise.

The MBA can take a CIO to a completely different level. It's becoming essential for the role, without question. I think it's certainly moving that way. I would hate to think that there are CIOs out there that don't have a post-graduate qualification of some type because they would not be serving justice to the role if they don't understand the business and strategy elements of the role.

When you are sitting at an executive table and talking business strategies, you've really got to understand what the discussion is about, you have got to be able to contribute to the discussion intelligently and not always bring the discussion down to the technology level.

The 'how' could be the IT, but it's not so much the how -- it's more about the 'what'. It's not just having a representation on the executive table, but also being able to contribute and add value.

What projects are you working on where you are helping to drive the business?

Triforce is currently involved in a number of large and small projects with customers such as redeveloping a website for Swinburne University, working with Mercedes Benz on a separate data hosting project. Confidentiality prevents me from discussing any of the details of these projects. Suffice to say that we are doing some really innovative stuff with some of our customers around wireless communications, big data, mobility, e-commerce and storage solutions. All these initiatives are driven from a real business need that will provide our customers with competitive advantages across all areas of their business operations -- revenue growth, operational efficiencies and increased productivity.

We are working with Moonee Valley Racing Club on a phase two of our wireless infrastructure project. I certainly think phase two will be expanding on the Wi-Fi geographic locations within the race course.

There will be more integration with a lot of the backend systems around finance, point of sale and electronic wallets.

So as soon as you walk onto the race course you don't have to have cash to actually transact with any of the point of sale areas. It's going to be over a period of time but our focus is getting the right infrastructure and then we can start adding all those application services on top of all that.

How important is it to maintain a strong business relationships and with other C-level executives?

During my time as the CIO of Racing Victoria Limited I developed strong relationships with all the C-level management across all the stakeholders I was looking after, which included Moonee Valley Racing Club.


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