Next CIO Champions the Rising Stars of IT in the UK

Next CIO returns for 2023 to continue to support the career development of aspiring IT and Tech leaders. 

Next CIO is the annual awards and mentoring programme helping aspiring IT leaders to develop their careers, build their network and improve their skill sets. It is an opportunity for aspiring digital, data, and technology leaders to join an exclusive community that supports inclusion, career development, and progress, and for current CIOs and business leaders to reward their colleagues and peers on what they have achieved. 

2022 welcomed 26 members to the Next CIO Cohort and throughout the year were connected with a CIO mentor and gained exclusive access to some of the UK’s leading digital, data, and technology professionals through workshops and sessions. 

Workshops included balancing great leadership, communicating with the board, determining how we learn and tech skill development strategies, as well as sharp strategy, and the transition to being a first-time CIO. 

Dave Roberts, a next CIO Judge, and mentor shared with CIO: “I think it’s incredibly important to be able to have people on your journey that can give you an unbiased view of what you’re going through at the time”.  

With Next CIO UK targeting digital, data, and technology professionals with aspirations of being in a senior executive role within five years, it represents an opportunity to recognise developing talents while addressing the IT industry’s biggest flaw – diversity.  

A recent report by TTC, discussed in this CIO report, shared that only 22% of senior tech roles are held by gender minorities, a figure that is 6% lower when compared to tech roles overall, while ethnic diversity almost halves in senior roles, dropping from 25% to 13%. 

Howson and Roberts shared last year how aspiring leaders will need a breadth of skills and highlighted how “[they’d] love to see more female leaders and I know that we as a judging group would love to see more diverse leaders in all areas, across the board.”  

“For me, this is a way of helping us reach the next generation of technology leaders, to encourage and showcase a diversity of technology leaders, and show that you can come from any kind of career path to get into that CIO or CTO spot.” 

2023 will host a similar series of workshops and will continue the mentoring programme. Next CIO members will also be invited to various networking events and CIO Forums and Summits.  

How to apply for Next CIO? What to include in your submission? 

Applications for Next CIO UK are now open until 31st March 2023. Award submissions can be made directly by the nominee, or on their behalf by a line manager or senior executive.  You can view the virtual session with judges Dave Roberts, Dom Howson, and Nadine Thomson on how to apply here: 

All entries will be reviewed by the expert judging panel and the winners will be announced at the live awards ceremony in London on 16th June 2022.  

“Have the confidence and apply,” says Thomson. “If you’re on the [webinar], then you’re good enough put an application in. That would be my call to arms.”  

Other top tips from the judges from the on-demand webinar: 

Be authentic, passionate and reflect on your achievements from the last 12 months.   Provide a level of detail on your achievements…but be concise and to the point. Show data and evidence where possible, as well as support from senior leaders.  Show where you’ve had a clear business impact.  Illustrate how you’ve taken new approaches to fixing problems.  Show a willingness to pursue professional development.  Understand that not everyone is a storyteller – but write the submission in your own words  Appreciate that no one is the finished article – everyone is learning.  Ask a colleague to review your application before submission  

Apply for the Next CIO programme here by 31st March. The Next CIO Awards will be hosted at the Goldsmith Centre in London on Thursday 15th June.