I meet Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and find out how broadband boosts business

It was really nice today to meet the members of CIONET again – IT leaders from businesses around Europe, showing what new technology and systems can do for businesses.

I’d asked them to give me evidence about what the “digital agenda” means for them: like what fast broadband can do for their business. And the report they have compiled with INSEAD is great reading. It shows the positive difference of fast connections. And the great things they can do to boost their business if they do have consistently fast broadband – like get all those great cloud benefits.

They also let me know some of the things we could do to help out Europe’s businesses – like promoting open competitive telecoms markets, and cutting excessive data roaming charges. I’m committed to delivering both of those – despite pressure from certain parts of the telecoms sector to actually reduce levels of competition.

CIO

And we got to discuss the common challenges facing us – on the one hand as policymakers in the Commission, on the other as those responsible for managing huge IT systems in the private sector. In particular I highlighted to them the huge opportunities of ICT employment in the year to come. And it’s clear that CIOs are already aware of these issues – in particular that increasing outsourcing means they are not always able to train ICT staff for the long term.

So I invited them to join me in a grand coalition for ICT jobs. I am glad they agreed with me that this would be a win-win. On the one hand, doing justice to today’s young people by providing them with the tools to access future opportunities; on the other, ensuring businesses will get the human resources they are going to need for sure in the future.

Plus I was there to reward some of the most successful CIOs – people who’ve shown what ICT can deliver for big businesses. Well done to all of them! You can see more about the event – and the awards here; and the INSEAD study on the business benefits of broadband here.

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