Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Melbourne CIO Community

Karen O'Connor

GM Strategy & Architecture | Chief Architect

Alinta Energy

Karen O'Connor is a market, commercial and business-focused technology leader with a passion for harnessing technology to drive innovation, growth and transformational change. She has held CIO, CTO and technology leadership positions with Alinta Energy, Capgemini, HP, IBM, Lander & Rogers and Telstra, leading highly skilled teams and passionate professionals to deliver strategic business outcomes. 

In addition to being a professional engineer, she holds a degree in Computer Science and a Graduate Diploma in Digital Communications from Monash University. With IBM, she achieved certification as an IT Management Consultant in the Strategy & Change Practice. She is also a TOGAF certified Enterprise Architect.

Learn more about the Melbourne CIO community here.

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

I was lucky to start my early career in IBM, initially in the IBM Consulting Group and then in the Strategy & Change Practice of Global Business Services, post the merger with PWC Consulting in 2002. It was a great learning environment, and it set the foundations for my career.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Lead by intent and not instruction.

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

The utility industry will continue to be disrupted and technology leadership will play a key role in supporting the business through the change and driving new business model opportunities.

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

Keep abreast of disruptive technologies with a focus on the business impact and opportunities.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.

  1. Outside of work, you will find me at Bunnings as I like to immerse myself in DIY home projects. 
  2. I am a foodie. I enjoy cooking and new restaurant experiences. 
  3. I am originally from Ireland, and I love travelling and exploring.

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