CIO of University of the Witwatersrand
The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has built a reputation for itself for promoting freedom of inquiry and the search for knowledge and truth. Wits aspires to be a leading world-class research-intensive university firmly embedded among international top league universities by 2022.
As with all universities across the globe, Wits has had to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and has done this with the support of their Chief Information Officer (CIO), Dr. Stanley Mpofu.
Mpofu is an IT Executive with over 27 years of ICT experience. “I only became Chief Information Officer recently,” he explained.
“A modern CIO is expected to do different things. For example, you need to be very transformational in the way you do things. You need to be very agile. You need to know your game,” continued Mpofu.
With his years of experience, Mpofu knows what is needed for an individual to become a successful CIO, he explained: “You need to have a vision, you need to have the ability to innovate, you need to have the ability to deal with the human factor because, in the previous era, ICT would not necessarily be concerned with the human part of it.”
Looking back at his career journey, Mpofu discussed his role as a programmer in 1995 straight through to now, where he holds the position of CIO at Wits.
Having worked in an IT role for the last 27 years, Mpofu spoke fondly of his career and the industry in which he works: “The first thing that I enjoy about it is that it’s not a job that has got fixed parameters in which you work. It's a job where the changes are quite fast and you need to know your game. And fortunately, I started at the bottom. So there are no parts of IT that I've not been part of. ”
As he has worked in many different roles within IT, Mpofu understands the entire ICT ecosystem well and believes this puts him at an advantage.
What drives him in his work is his passion for delivering new strategies that are innovative and different from other practices. Always looking at ways in which technology can resolve an issue, Mpofu explained: “ I'm very biased towards finding a technological solution for anything. And that drives me. I'm a person who wants to deliver. I want to see my products being in place.”
“One of the things that is perhaps not very common in the developed world is we live in a place where there are quite a lot of people that come from poorer backgrounds. So I'm also very passionate about making sure that I use my role to empower those people that are disadvantaged,” he added. As a result, Wits ICT has taken more than 150 interns including 11 who were young people living with disabilities.
As the CIO of Wits, Mpofu has had to develop and perfect his leadership skills to support his team at the University. He has learnt to collaborate more with academics in his pursuant of cordiality and alignment with Faculty needs and the academic project in general.
He said: “I would say my leadership style is transformational and strategic. I'm very visionary. I'm always thinking about what I should do better. I try to always believe that what was good today is not good tomorrow. I must always do continuous improvement as well.”
Lending itself to the success of his leadership skills and IT programs, Mpofu was recognised for his work and was named 2020 Visionary CIO of the Year (IITPSA) Winner.
Read the full story HERE.