Master Chefs of IT serve up tantalising recipes of ideas

CIONET, the world's leading community of digital leaders, has brought together the latest ideas about information technology in their new book the CIONET Cookbook: Recipes for Digital Success. Using the analogy of a 5 star restaurant, 25 top IT executives from around the world share their recipes to help companies not only survive but thrive in this drastically changing digital era.

In many organisations, the IT department has largely been seen or relegated to a reactive, functional role servicing the various needs of the business. But recently IT has made its way up from the basement and its executives – whether CIOs, CTOs, CDOs – now dine at the top table as well as have strategic roles. Digital technology is both vital and instrumental in business development, customer relationships and product innovation. This change has been accelerated by the pandemic, as businesses realise the potential IT-led solutions have, among others to transform the workplace, creating virtual offices, enhancing customer–supplier relationships and streamlining processes.

CIONET Cookbook: Recipes for digital success is indeed a business book, but with a difference: instead of the customary text book illustrated with graphs and charts, readers are presented with a highly illustrated coffee-table book. The CIONET Cookbook takes the analogy of a Michelin-starred restaurant and applies it to the business: Where prestigious restaurants have a dynamic and creative Master Chef, the successful business of today must be masterminded by a CIO with vision and energy. As noted in the introduction, “Traditional enterprises face a new challenge: not just surviving, but thriving in the digital age. As the executive responsible for leading business technology, the CIO will need to meet this challenge head-on.”

The CIONET Cookbook presents its ideas in three main sections: namely, analysing what a top-ranking digitally led business looks like; what tools make up the best IT kitchens and also what is expected of IT Master Chefs and their teams. These ideas are expanded through proven recipes for success from 25 of today’s most influential digital leaders. And, as with all the best cookbooks, the recipes are lavishly illustrated with tantalizing full colour photographs.


Featured CIOs have been instrumental in the success of global businesses from industries as diverse as food, communications, logistics and pharmaceuticals. While these businesses operate in vastly different areas, all the contributing digital leaders (Master Chefs) are keen to point out how significantly the role of IT has changed. Tarun Kohli of reinsurance company Swiss Re sums it up neatly when he says, “We don’t need a digital strategy for business, we need a business strategy for a digital future.” The CIONET Cookbook is not a technology manual but rather a thought-provoking and handy reference guide packed with ideas and proven recipes for successfully implementing dynamic change into any business.

Common themes throughout the Cookbook involve the ideas of openness along the importance of listening, with CIOs agreeing that it is – as ever - crucial to get buy-in from customers, partners, stakeholders and employees if any strategy is to succeed. As Cindy Hoots, CDO/CIO of AstraZeneca eloquently notes, “When you focus on the people, you will get the results.” This beautiful lavishly presented book will not only inspire today’s IT executives as well as those of the future but will also make a handsome addition to any office desk or library.