Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Creating a CIO Profile

Two interesting pieces on the ideal CIO:

One man’s take on
Tomorrow’s CIO and the Implications for SMBs

It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s CIO Superman!?

The first piece talks about the importance of having a CIO who is receptive to technology innovations, particularly those he identifies as the “Big Four”:

Cloud computing
Software As a Service (SAAS)
Open source
Web application hybrids (aka mash-ups)

The author argues, “Each of these innovations is or will be disruptive to your business, much like the Internet itself. However unlike the Internet, which was relative easy to understand and to envision its role in the future of your business, The Big Four are more arcane conceptually, more complicated technically and more difficult to envision. Consequently, businesses with the new brand of technology leadership are pursuing these approaches, whereas those that don’t are not.”

He also claims that these innovations are technology’s “certain future” which SMBs cannot afford to ignore.

A persuasive argument, especially convincing since the author acknowledges that he usually does not necessarily recommend new technologies for SMBs.

Is a CIO who does not embrace these innovations by definition “Yesterday’s CIO?” Does a reluctance to adopt these innovations necessarily mean a company will get left behind?

The second piece talks about the difficulties of finding a CIO with ideal qualifications, which include:

Leadership abilities
Hands-on technology background
Experience in leading large change programs
Experience in running successful IT infrastructure operations
Management experience in a non-IT function
Innovative thinking that can solve relevant industry and business issues

The ability to understand how projects and operations impact corporate financials
The fact that talent with these credentials is hard to find seems to indicate that if a CIO is of a certain caliber, he or she does not need to follow any proscribed mandate. A strong CIO can pick and choose which, if any, new technologies are appropriate for their company.

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