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Why CIOs & Developers are Seldom on the Same Page

There are at least two types of people in an IT organization. Developers are the creative, curious types. The CIO, on the other hand, wants to make sure all IT functions operate securely and sustainably within budget. These two functions are often at odds, but Toby Wolpe argues at ZDNet that their inherent differences are a source of incredible productivity.

Long View, Short View

A problem arises with new developer frameworks. Although these tools truly streamline the workload of developers, they may not be viable in the long term, a concern for CIOs. This is a conflict of short versus long-term thinking, with developers snatching up tools for the latest trends, and CIOs worrying that the supplies for these techniques will become obsolete with a shifting market. For them, it’s a matter of investment.

But innovation is important, and CIOs need to find ways to let developers play with the latest trends. The solution, according to Redis Labs’ Itamar Haber, is to divide the development workforce in two. One group focuses on maintaining the business infrastructure using company-issued tools while the other group focuses on experimentation. Either way, keep this in mind:

The company needs a model where developers can test new principles and ideas, which, if successful and sufficiently mature, can then be adopted officially. The process needs to be relatively low risk and involve only a small portion of IT investment.

The Limitation of Standards

“If it doesn’t work, throw it away,” says Haber of developers’ creative initiatives. This approach is preferable to learning, all too late, that your enterprise has fallen behind the times without any recourse in a new and evolving market. A prime example is the relational database, the Bob Ross painting of the IT world. Sure, it’s an efficient and replicable model to be shared across practitioners. But oh, the limitations!

Read the original, ZDNet article here:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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