Are CIOs Disappearing (Part II)? If They Don't Master Business Value, The Answer Is 'Yes'
Readers offer various explanations to the question we first posed last week, but the central theme is that too many CIOs remain overly focused on IT arcana rather than revenue growth, customer loyalty, and competitive advantage.
Some say companies don't list their CIOs on their public web sites so as to thwart cold-callers from IT vendors. Yeah, maybe, but there sure are a heckuva lot of other execs listed, of just about any stripe you can think of---don't they buy anything that would have cold-callers pursuing them? That one doesn't hold water.
Some say it's because CEOs are greedy, blind, ignorant, or all of the above. That is no doubt a comforting rationale for IT professionals who feel they've gotten the wrong end of the stick, but again, I'm not buying it as a well-grounded explanation.
One reader said the CIO and CTO jobs are morphing into a new type of role centered on governance, which will lead to the emergence of a new role---chief governance officer---that displaces the CIO and CTO. Intriguing idea, but I'm not gonna bet on that one, either.
The answer that makes most sense to me is that many IT execs, while excelling within the technology side of their positions, have not aggressively mastered business issues, strategy issues, and customer issues.
As 'Jay in Baton Rouge' puts it: "As I look back in retrospect at my former position, I can see that I didn't have the skills and experience to do what my former directors needed -- translate the technology needs into business terms that they could understand....I think there needs to be more training -- and maybe it's already there in the Masters programs of the world, but I haven't seen evidence of it -- for technologists who need to be able to do this translation. That's where IT Managers' credibility will come from."
'Middle Man' says that the shift is coming from the other direction: mainstream businesspeople are becoming more technically savvy, thereby reducing the need for IT involvement in all things technical: "I think that this is happening because technology is getting more user friendly and business side users/management are becoming more technologicaly savy. I have seen at my company where business managers have programming staff report directly to them. They and their staff sometimes work with IT to come up with solutions that fit the business and sometimes work independent of IT on solutions depending on the systems needed in the solution. Going in this direction reduces the need for hierarchal management in IT perhaps this is the reason for the trend."
Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.
The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.
Do Online Social Networks Lead To More Real Friendships?
Not so, a recent study claims. According to Dr. Will Reader and a team of researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, most people who use social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace only have, on average, five really close friends. Ironically enough, that's the same number most people have offline too.
AMD Cuts Quad-Core Barcelona Prices To The Bone
The hidden story surrounding AMD's launch of Barcelona are the chips' incredibly low prices. I can't believe you can get a 1.7-GHz, quad-core server processor for $209! I'm already seeing downward pricing pressure on Intel's competing quad Xeons, and it's looking like we're going to have a major price war on our hands.
RIM Launches 'Built For BlackBerry' Web Site
RIM has aggregated a host of BlackBerry software on a new Web site. Everything from news to navigation is available for download in what looks like an attempt to remind people that they can do more with their BlackBerries than just check e-mail.
CIOs Better Check With Legal Before Touting This Tool
LexisNexis has a powerful new tool that IT execs can give their companies' researchers, letting them search some 65 million patent records from countries around the world. But in today's patent litigation minefield, some companies consider the best strategy is to keep researchers ignorant of what's been patented.
Why Apple Won't Bite on Spectrum AuctionAccording to BusinessWeek, sources say that "Steve Jobs & Co. have studied the implications of joining" the bidding in the upcoming FCC auction of valuable 700MHz spectrum. Well, I have "studied the implications" of becoming the head of the World Bank. Doesn't mean it's going to happen.
Path to Profit: Transform your Underwriting Processes Join Insurance & Technology Editorial Director Kathy Burger, Cindy De Armond, Partner, Insurance Industry Practice, IBM Global Business Services, and Mark B. Gorman, Strategic Research Advisor, Insurance, TowerGroup, to gain insights into how integrating analytics and operations can transform the underwriting process.
Making High Performance Data Protection a Reality for SMBs -- Sepaton
Protecting data is important for any business. Small-to-medium
sized businesses (SMBs) typically use tape, but faster, lower
cost options are now available. In this paper, learn how to
improve data protection using one of these technologies: physical
tape, disk storage, and virtual tape libraries.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.