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5 Skills CEOs Prize In CIOs
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RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
2/24/2014 | 11:16:30 AM
Vendor Management
Jonathan, where's the line between building strong relationships with trusted IT vendors and treating them like BFFs? I know government enterprises are under more restrictions than the average private sector enterprise, but what about vendors paying for customers to visit them on-site, for them to speak at their user conferences, for tickets to sporting events, even for lunches? What's kosher and what's not, in your view?
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
2/24/2014 | 1:44:31 PM
Re: Vendor Management
I think most of us have "gut checks" for such ethical questions. If a proferred gift makes that little voice in the back of your mind ask, "is this a good idea?" -- it's probably not.
jfeldman
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jfeldman,
User Rank: Strategist
2/24/2014 | 4:51:22 PM
Re: Vendor Management
Agree that in many cases a gut check is useful.  But many large organizations -- not just gov -- have explicit rules regarding conflict of interest.  If you dig hard enough into purchasing policies, I bet you'll find them at your org, gov or not. 
jfeldman
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jfeldman,
User Rank: Strategist
2/24/2014 | 5:56:52 PM
Re: Vendor Management
Another one of those razor's edges, Rob.  In gov, you're right, it's easy to know what to do.  A good rule is that if you or the organization gets something of any value, be willing to pay for it.  This helps to keep vendors in business and avoids hidden costs down the line. 
 
Big conflict of interest is easy to avoid.  If I need to go to a vendor site, surely my org can pony up for a plane ticket if it's that important.  If a vendor is sending me for "free", you can bet that my org will be paying for it eventually, most likely with a markup.  When I was on the vendor side, I'd frequently hear cackles of "we'll get that money back 10x over." So, ethical considerations aside, why not just pay for it in the first place?
 
The smaller conflict of interest stuff?  A lot harder, but just as important, because it leads to the bigger stuff.  Dishonesty flourishes because we enable it. Pay for your own darn lunch.  Go to lunch because you want to, not because there's a freebie attached. Free isn't really free, there will be hidden costs. TANSTAAFL: There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.  Make sure you know what the value exchange is.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/24/2014 | 11:51:22 AM
Dilbert bosses
Your Dilbert bosses comment made me laugh. It has been a long time since I met a CIO who had much in common with Dilbert bosses. CIOs these days must be master communicators and genuine team players. Also, humane management = team loyalty = talent retention. And what CEO doesn't prize talent retention?
cbcurran01
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cbcurran01,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/24/2014 | 12:46:01 PM
Marketplace Awareness and Evaluation
Another critical skill CEO's *should* prize is an awareness of the outside world of technologies, services and information and an abiity to apply a strategic business lens to them to help the organization evaluate and adopt the right ones.  The CIO and IT's job is becomming so much more about integrating 3rd party capabilities that the CIO who understands the digital tech marketplace will be in high demand.


Bringing the outside-in is one of the two imperatives for the Digital CIO.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/24/2014 | 3:29:06 PM
Re: Marketplace Awareness and Evaluation
Chris, nice to see you here. Thanks for weighing in. Juggling cloud services will be an example of what you cite. Laurie
plarrieu1
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plarrieu1,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/24/2014 | 6:13:37 PM
Project Management
Project Management should be the launch pad for a career as a CIO. It covers all of the items that you listed and more (planning, scheduling, risk management, financial management, stakeholder management, and most importantly execution/delivery).
jfeldman
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jfeldman,
User Rank: Strategist
2/24/2014 | 6:15:36 PM
Re: Project Management
You make a good case.  Rob already knows what I think.  I will reveal what the answer is soon.  Thanks!
plarrieu1
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plarrieu1,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/24/2014 | 6:21:11 PM
Re: Project Management
I forgot to mention ethics. This would address Rob's question regarding where you draw the line with accepting venndor perks.
Csharper
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Csharper,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/24/2014 | 8:55:16 PM
The missing 4th skill
Jonathan, would being able to count to 6 count as one of the 6 skills?

The article lists:

  1) Customer management

  2) Staff management

  3) Vendor management

  5) Financial management

  6) Internal reporting

But there's no #4... presumably just a paging issue on the site? (Although the text seems to flow.) Shame--basic detail kinda makes you question a really good article.
jfeldman
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jfeldman,
User Rank: Strategist
2/25/2014 | 6:38:40 AM
Re: The missing 4th skill
Apparently, I cannot claim the 4th skill as "attention to detail"! :-) I am not sure what happened there, but it does seem somewhat zen (or at least Pythonesque). Thanks for pointing it out!
Paul_Travis
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Paul_Travis,
User Rank: Author
2/25/2014 | 11:24:20 AM
Re: The missing 4th skill
The missing skill is knowing how to count. It has been fixed. Thanks.

 

Paul Travis

InformationWeek.com Managing Editor
J_Brandt
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J_Brandt,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2014 | 6:10:17 PM
A Few More
To those you can add 6) Internal customer education and expectation setting, 7) internal business knowledge and 8) Political savvy.
jfeldman
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jfeldman,
User Rank: Strategist
2/27/2014 | 8:01:36 PM
Re: A Few More
Totally agree! I tend to think marketing is in line with business reporting but I also agree that it is important enough to warrant its own section. As to political savvy - so many think that politics is a dirty word, yet the alternative to diplomacy is often "war", far worse!
gibbassett
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gibbassett,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/5/2014 | 9:14:54 PM
Marketing/External Customer-Facing Skills?
With Gartner saying marketing will control more IT budget than IT in coming years you'd expect CEOs to desire technology leaders with some skills or background in technology-enabled marketing to support those efforts and drive utilization of technology as a competitive asset.  Maybe it depends on the industry.

Gib Bassett, Global Program Director for Consumer Goods with Teradata Corp.


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