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Why Can’t My CIO Be More Like Me?

CIOs are often pigeonholed into a stereotype: awkward when it comes to interaction, out of step with the business, and always too busy to see the details. In this article, Susan Cramm makes an honest evaluation of the CIO, identifying qualities and facts about what separates a CIO from the rest of the IT department (and what joins them). She explains one of the qualities that makes a great CIO is a love, deep down, of technology: You need a CIO who knows how technology can be applied, what technology is ready for prime time, and how to make sure that it works, rather than hurts, the business. Consider AT&T's iPhone incident. The company's technical infrastructure failed to process orders and keep information secure. There are myriad possible root causes””forecasting, financing, staffing, and technical. If options were considered, risks assessed, and decisions were made that ended up being wrong, that's understandable. But if any of the executives in charge (sales, finance, operations, and IT) didn't know what they didn't know, that's inexcusable. But beyond the love of technology, CIOs must also have mastery of leadership. Knowing how to apply technology is great, but if you can't motivate and support your employees to apply it, you're never going to get anything accomplished.

 

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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