Of course tomorrow's CIOs need to be broad business leaders, not just technologists. But skimp on the tech foundation, and CIOs may have no future at all.
Of course tomorrow's CIOs need to be broad business leaders, not just technologists. But skimp on the tech foundation, and CIOs may have no future at all.That's a conclusion that pops out for me after reading John Soat's article on Tomorrow's CIO. There's a risk of IT leaders underplaying the tech piece of what they do. In our survey, only half of IT execs rate "technical depth and breadth" as important or very important. Yet two thirds of non-IT execs rate it that highly.
The article's interviews likewise point to the importance of tech depth and breadth. FedEx CIO Rob Carter explains how he tracks developments in the biotech field, for example, for two reasons--because it's a growth sector that likely will need precision shipping and logistics, and because biotech's advances might someday, somehow be used inside FedEx. Dan Drawbaugh, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center CIO, talks of looking eight years out to spot tech trends that UPMC might want to consider, both as a tech user and as a partner in health IT initiatives.
The article offers other interviews and data that point to the need for CIOs and other IT leaders to be the company's guide to new, tech-enabled opportunities. Tomorrow's CIOs shouldn't underestimate the need for deep technology understanding, as well as business savvy, in filling that role.
What's your take? Do CIOs and other would-be IT leaders under-value their own tech expertise?
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.