Kroes Warns Of Skills Shortage At CIO Awards Event

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Future IT skills will be in short supply, warned the EU digital champion Neelie Kroes, while presenting awards for CIO of the year.

Tech stars from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands have won the CIO of the year trophy – but presenting the awards, the EU digital champion Neelie Kroes warned of a future shortage of IT talent.

In future, the big challenge will be in IT skills, warned Kroes as she handed trophies to IT bosses from SAP in Germany, Akzo Nobel in the Netherlands and MAPFRE in Spain, at the sixth annual CIO City in Brussels, the annual event of the European CIOnet association.

Declining graduates

While congratulating the winners, Kroes warned of a widening ICT skill gap, as the number of universityand  high school IT degrees is decreasing. It’s a topic she has been campaigning on for some years.

“It’s clear that we need two main resources,” said Kroes. Europe needed physical resources such as the high speed networks and servers behind cloud computing, which she described as “a new fascinating opportunity for solving critical problems”, but the big challenge was in human resources.

The CIO prizes were awarded in three categories.

The year’s best “Technology Driven CIO” is Oliver Bussmann, executive vice president and CIO at SAP AG, with headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. He succeeded in optimising the ICT operations of the company and engaging with the client businesses, so the company can now benefit from three overlapping areas of responsibility: operational, transformational and innovational.

The year’s best “Business Process Driven CIO” is Pieter Schoehuijs, CIO at Akzo Nobel in Amhem, Netherlands, a specialist in decorative paints and performance coatings. From 2009, Schoehuis managed to consolidate the IT resources of 15 existing companies and contributed to the success of  a program by the name of ‘Dynamo’ , which added €500 million to the profitability of the company,

And the year’s best “Client-Driven CIO” is José Manuel Inchausti Pérez, CIO of MAPFRE insurance company of Madrid, Spain. His main challenge was to empower business units to effectively manage their own processes. He also contributed to developing business intelligence capabilities.

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