I was at a very good event the other night that saw CIOs – those in charge of information technology at large organisations – talk about how they and their companies approach CSR or what is now often just called corporate responsibility.
The event was put together by Winmark (which runs networks and events for various exec types, including CIOs), saw speakers from BG Group and Tullow Oil, and was moderated by old friend and colleague Julian Goldsmith, now deputy editor at CIO. The goal was for the debate to further the cause of Byte Night, which sees the UK tech sector support youth homelessness charity Action for Children.
Why was it very good? One answer is that it answered a question for me.
I had often wondered whether CIOs are able to generate interest from their IT departments in Byte Night because it is driven by the tech industry – ie by the area in which they practice. All their companies support numerous other charities, often more aligned with their vertical sector (eg health-related for pharma companies or literacy drives from media owners). But surely they have more affinity for Byte Night?
What I heard surprised me – though it probably shouldn’t have.
I’ve long held the view that technology (not just at the top, whether CIO, CTO, IT director or something else) has one of the best views of what’s going on in any organisation. Everyone thinks that’s the view from the finance department – given they see where all the money goes out and comes in – but there’s a case for tech touching everything too.
The CIOs mentioned this. Basically most modern IT staff can see that bigger picture. They can support a cause that is tech-related or anything else. Byte Night has to justify itself and carry on being effective each year with the funds that are raised.
It is and I’m really happy to be involved again.
NEW – Be the first to sponsor me for this year’s Byte Night. (I just set up the page.)
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