Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the UK & Ireland CIO Community

Euan Davidson

Group Head of IT

KCA Deutag

Euan Davidson is the Group Head of IT at KCA Deutag and Governing Body Member of the UK & Ireland CIO Community.

Learn more about the UK & Ireland CIO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I was lucky to spend a year with Esso as part of my degree and joined them directly after graduation as a trainee SAP consultant. Getting the chance early in my career to travel to Africa, Asia and Russia on projects was an excellent grounding and kept things exciting.

I then decided in my early thirties to undertake a post-grad in the evenings and re-focus on leadership roles that I thought would both interest me and increase my skill set. I found that I enjoyed leading teams as much as the technical aspects of previous roles.

Laterally, I've found that leading across all functions of an IT department is the most exciting and energising role I've had to date!

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Empower your team, create the conditions they each need to thrive and share your successes.

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CIO role going in the next 1-2 years?

There is little doubt that the pace of change and disruption will continue to increase over the coming years. I see my role as a leader within IT as dual-focused.  

Firstly, I think it's vitally important to keep an 'eye on the horizon' for technologies and trends which could yield large opportunities for my organisation, or which could present challenges or generate friction.  The impact of generative AI in such a short period of time, or the increasing wave of hyper-automation, will be very interesting to monitor over the coming year.

Secondly, as technology continues to empower and transform activities for workers at all levels of the organisation, I think it's critical that we continue to focus on being a 'learning organisation.' Ensuring all employees have access to training materials for new and emerging technologies, and that we continue to attract and retain workers with these skill sets will be vital.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CIO?

As Group Head of IT, I report into the C-suite; that said, I believe a key principle of senior IT role is to ensure the entire organisation (both above and below you) are crystal clear about what your objectives are: What does "good" look like to you?  How can they feed into the delivery of these strategies?

Taking a step back, I think it's also key to ensure that objectives set by the CIO deliver business results which tie into the wider organisation’s goals - both with short term wins to generate momentum, but also with smaller deliverables which continue to push the company towards its longer-term goals.

In summary, ensure the IT organisation is crystal clear on objectives, has the capability and capacity it needs to deliver them and, finally, is motivated and rewarded for achieving them.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. At school, I was inspired to set up a triathlon club by one of my teachers - who is in the opening scenes running across the beach in  'Chariots of Fire.'
  2. My kids and I choose a different capital city to visit each year for a city break.
  3. I love karaoke but, sadly, I am completely tone deaf.

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