Inside a CIO’s mind – European Court of Auditors

A few months ago, we met with Magdalena Cordero from the European Court of Auditors, and talked about her job as CIO of this organisation.

Magdalena Cordeo graduated in Mathematics in the early 90s and has been CIO of the European Court of Auditors since October 2008. She describes herself as perseverant, intuitive, energetic and with a small dose of bad temper. Open-minded, her door is always open for her team. She likes people, human beings, and tries to see the “human” component of each and every “human act”.

 

According to you, what are the current issues for a CIO in Luxembourg?

For me, the main challenge for a CIO is to be able to guarantee business continuity, while adapting to the new demand. In a fast changing environment and society, we have to be ready to experiment, fail, risk and learn, but paradoxically we also need structured, mature, solid, resilient and procedural organisation to keep risk under control. The World is so global today that being in Luxembourg is not so different than being anywhere else; except maybe for the shortage of IT talents. IT employment rate may be high, finding some specific profiles is a real issue in this country.

 

During the next ten years, how do you see the evolution of the CIO position?

Cloud Computing being more mature, some traditional IT jobs will disappear, be outsourced. The future CIO will have a more strategic role in the digital transformation of his/her company. The proliferation of “smart everything” will push organisations to question the way they do business – I think of Auditors for example that would not need to travel as much as they do today – and study opportunities brought by technology. CIO will need to be more business oriented and initiate identification and implementation of solutions, to really transform the business.

 

How is your IT team organized?

My IT organization is flat; we are a single box in the organization chart, and don’t have hierarchical structures. To make this work we rely on very strong governance, mature processes, and clear identified roles and responsibilities. Processes have an owner and a manager. Managers are responsible for different domains, but not necessarily for a team; staff have more autonomy and responsibility. This organisation facilitates a better use of resources, gives us a lot of flexibility, and allows us to put different talents together. Physical and digital workplace being closely influenced by one another, I have also recently been appointed Director – Information, Workplace and Innovation, adding the responsibility of infrastructures and facilities – not only digital and IT – to my job.

 

Which was the most impressive project during your career?

Difficult to say; every project I worked on has been an opportunity to learn something. I could mention the digital dissemination of the 1990 Spanish Population Census data, or the first Business Intelligence implementations in the early 2000. To be honest, I think that the creation of the IT Directorate and the implementation of the IT Governance and the workplace transformation at the European Court of Auditors could be the one. I am very proud of my team here, we did a lot together!

 

Read our full interview below on page 20.

 

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