The Sekuro Talkshow with CIO Rogier Roelofs (Ep.3)

In the third episode of the Sekuro Talkshow, Sekuro Chief Growth Officer Shamane Tan joined Rogier Roelofs, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of ABN AMRO Clearing Bank, to find out more about what being a CIO is all about, his advice for new CIOs, and how CIOs and CISOs can work hand-in-hand for the betterment of their company.

Rogier Roelofs’ Top Priority as a CIO

To kickstart the discussion, Shamane raised a fundamental, but critical query: How would you explain your top priority as a CIO to business audience? Without a second thought, Rogier answered that the fundamental narrative for CIOs would be about what are they able to bring to the table.

Breaking Down The Role of a CIO


Shamane then followed up by clarifying what the role of a CIO might entail, and how it could be broken down, and explained for three very different standpoints (business audience, technical audience and children). 

To a business audience, Rogier described a CIO as being the most creative person in the room and company. 

On the other hand, if he were speaking to a technical audience, he described a CIO as the only person in the room who understands the business! 

And lastly, to children, he simplified the role as someone doing the essential work that no one understands, but what everyone ultimately requires to do his/ her job well in the end.

Advice for New CIOs

Creating business value should be your key drive.

Rogier Roelofs’s advice for new CIOs & laying out good foundations in the company

When asked about what are some good baselines for new CIOs to set in the company, Rogier suggested that a CIO’s motivation should be focused on adding value in business and rising above the noise. In addition, as everyone in the tech space is notoriously famous for complicating things, he also advised making things simple and avoiding complexity when possible. 

As a CIO, strategy is important because long-term planning for your achievements will eventually contribute to your success, hence one should not be focused solely on the day-to-day tasks. Lastly, he stressed the significance of being both tech and business savvy. CIOs typically need to understand not just IT trends, but business and economic concepts as well.

How CIOs & CISOs Can Work Together

To conclude the discussion, Shamane raised the issue of natural tensions and conflicts of interest between CIOs and CISOs, and how this can be solved for the progress of the company. 

Drawing on his personal experience and long-standing career, Rogier emphasised the importance of having a great relationship between the two crucial roles of a business – the CIO, the linchpin between IT and the business, and the CISO, the in-charge of cybersecurity roadmap. To help improve this relationship, he suggested that every company should make clear the distinction between each roles’ responsibilities and understand the importance of both. He maintained that the only way forward is to ensure both are mutually supported by each other and the company.

Conclusion

With cybersecurity threats becoming more prevalent in today’s digital world, a CIO undoubtedly plays a salient part within any organisation. It is vital to understand and take advantage of the role so that the business can plan and execute their strategies accordingly to work like a well-oiled machine.

A big thank you to Rogier Roelofs for joining us in this episode!

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