Our fourth episode of ‘Diary of a CIO’ is with Antony Hausdoerfer, Group CIO at The AA.

An intro to Antony

Antony is a highly experienced technology and business leader with 25 years’ experience within the technology, digital marketing and operations teams of travel, mobile telecoms and media organisations. As Group CIO at The AA, Antony specialises in leading teams to solve complex business and technology problems that deliver measurable benefit.

An intro to The AA

The Automobile Association was created by keen drivers who just wanted fair treatment. Not much has changed on that front since June 1905, when four driving enthusiasts banded together in London to form the AA. From day one their goal has been exactly the same: to protect you, the motorist, and put your interests first.

With over 14 million members, they are the UK’s largest motoring organisation. From setting up their first motorbike patrols to piloting ‘connected cars’, they’ve got a unique history of embracing new technology and innovations to better serve their customers.

The interview…

When did you know you wanted to become a CIO?

Does anyone come out of education and say ‘a CIO is my aspirational job’? I wouldn’t say it was one that I intended on. My background was more in marketing, but immediately as part of that, I was challenged with ‘how can you use technology to support marketing?’ The internet was just starting to take off and then it was: how can you use the internet to support marketing, to support sales, business? What really attracted me to the role was the ability to look at how technology can enable businesses, enable customers to look at businesses, and enable colleagues to work better. It’s right in the heart of business efficiency and business capability, that’s what I found really interesting.

I had always regarded myself as not particular technical. Obviously that wasn’t the truth – it was just a perception I had of myself. As I started to unpick that, I realized I was quite technical. I was able to bridge the technology to business conversation, which isn’t an easy skill. It can be quite technical and hard for people to engage with, so I was challenged with how to make that simple for people to understand, and take a complex technology problem, and turn it into a business solution that people can identify with and engage with. That was the bit that attracted me. It’s joining up what people want, with something they might not know they want at that point. There is a people aspect to the role, and getting the best out of people.

To access the full interview, check out the video below.