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CIOs Dismissed As Techies Without Business Savvy By CEOs 269

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-respect dept.
Qedward writes in with a link about the gap between the tech side of business and the bean counters. "CIOs are being dismissed by CEOs as too techie and not aligned with business activities. According to recent Gartner survey of 220 CEOs across the world, business leaders expect spending on IT to rise, but without a corresponding rise in the importance of the role of the CIO within the organization. CIOs appear to be failing in the eyes of CEOs in terms of alignment with the rest of the business. The research showed the stereotype of the head of IT being too preoccupied with technical issues to be effective business leaders persists. He said they were perceived as unable to bring a breadth of business perspective to the table."
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CIOs Dismissed As Techies Without Business Savvy By CEOs

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  • by alphatel (1450715) * on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:48PM (#39724993)
    Alert: CEOs also don't like CFOs who tell them they are losing money.
    Notice: CEOs don't like COOs who inform them that cancelling the pension fund is illegal.
    Warning: CEOs don't like CIOs who spend money on "infrastructure" instead of "apps".
    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:05PM (#39725273)

      Debug: CEO attempted to exclusively lock all system resources.
      Informational: You have set TZ to 'US/Eastern'. Be advised CEOs in this locale are considered deities by the locals and worshipped.
      Debug: CEO attempted to delete immutable directory /home/finances/incriminating_evidence

      • by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:49PM (#39725945)

        How world works:

        CIO: In order to support [business_plan], we need the following infrastructure: [list of modern hardware]

        CEO: But think of the bottom line! Make it work with what we've got now.

        CIO: It won't work with what we have now. What we have now is insufficiently powerful, further it's out of warranty and we run increased risk of catastrophic hardware failures the longer we fail to replace it with up to date infrastructure that can handle the current bandwidth, storage and processing requirements.

        CEO: But maintenance costs money. Just make it work with what we have. My management for dummies courses at MBA Mill University said all we have to do is tell people what to do and make sure they know their job is on the line and they'll find a way, so tell your people their jobs are on the line unless they make it work with what we already have. Do more with less. Leverage that diversity and synergize to create a new paradigm by thinking outside the box so we can make a sea change to increase company wellness. At the end of the day the new alignment will have the rank and file thanking you for all the empowerment and mean more organic growth for the company.

        CIO: Fine. Go back to playing with your etch-a-sketch.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MitchDev (2526834)
          I thought Dilbert was a joke until I left the private sector and moved to the corporate world. Exec positions should require minimum 15 years actually working actual jobs....
          • by hoggoth (414195) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:15PM (#39726311) Journal

            > I left the private sector
            > moved to the corporate world

            I do not think that word means what you think it means.

            • by Moryath (553296)

              Maybe not. Many "private sector" jobs are of the non-corporate (e.g. not desk-and-cubicle/office) variety, especially if you run a small business or work in fields like electrical or construction work.

              • by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:22PM (#39726443)

                Public sector: Ran with public funds (i.e. government).
                Private sector: Ran with private funds (essentially everything outside government and often includes government owned by privately managed companies).

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Moryath (553296)

                  You are technically correct, according to the technical definition you provided, but not necessarily correct for colloquioal definitions. The economy is not simply divided into two sectors. There are the "Private Sector", "Corporate Sector" (sometimes known as Banking Sector), Public Sector, Home Sector, Retail Sector... you may also choose to divide your sectors by field [answers.com] in an even more granular fashion.

                  • by Luckyo (1726890)

                    While true, it's irrelevant in the scope the question presented, as the main two sectors include ALL existing smaller sectors are the two I mentioned and are probably the most used split into "sectors" of the business world.

                    • Someone who works in a "private sector" job (such as night security)

                      Private Sector != Private Security

        • by Scutter (18425) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:39PM (#39727553) Journal

          How world works:

          CIO: In order to support [business_plan], we need the following infrastructure: [list of modern hardware]

          CEO: But think of the bottom line! Make it work with what we've got now.

          CIO: It won't work with what we have now. What we have now is insufficiently powerful, further it's out of warranty and we run increased risk of catastrophic hardware failures the longer we fail to replace it with up to date infrastructure that can handle the current bandwidth, storage and processing requirements.

          CEO: But maintenance costs money. Just make it work with what we have.

          In my experience, the response of the CEO to anything even remotely technical is "All I heard was 'Blah blah blah I'm a big egghead nerd.' I don't understand a word you said and I really don't care. Listen, Poindexter, you just make it work with what we've got and stop spending all our money on Ward of Whirlcraft, or whatever it is you guys do all day."

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:35PM (#39725707)

      "CIOs are being dismissed by CEOs as too techie and not aligned with business activities."

      "CIOs are being dismissed by CEOs for constantly pointing out technical hurdles and reasons why the idea they read in a magazine on the plane won't work. They are party poopers. Plus, they don't play golf."

      There, fixed it.

      • by idontgno (624372)

        Plus, they don't play golf.

        Actually, most of the "leadership-level" technical weenies I know (i.e., CIO-level types) play excellent golf. Maybe the problem is that they keep beating the CEO. Knowing CEO ego, that would be a serious issue.

    • The real problem in business is in fact CEOs, other executive managers, and the methods that are being used to select them. CEOs have devolved into grossly overpaid playboys with no responsibilities towards shareholders, customers, or indeed the company itself.

      We are witnessing not just companies, but entire industries collapse before our eyes. Multinational firms, once immensely profitable, are being driven into stagnation, decline, and ultimately bankruptcy with each passing year. Excuses such as "globalisation", foreign competitors, and "government" are always trotted out, but no-one every really asks serious questions about the management of these companies, or why they spent increasingly large amounts on executive remuneration even as became less profitable.

      Studies suggest [discovermagazine.com] that one of the defining characteristics being used by boards to select CEOs in in fact height--Yes, how "tall" someone is. I imagine other factors such as hairstyle, teeth, and charm are being applied as well because I see no other reason for the modern day plague of vapid and incompetent CEOs, and the associated layers of equally useless senior managers.

      The problem is not restricted to management either. Boards too seem to have become saturated with unqualified socialites, often from unrelated industries or even unrelated fields like academia, selected for personal or political connections rather than for any actually relevant competencies.

      But ultimately, I place the blame on shareholders and investors. They are the ones who ultimately approve the appointment of the unqualified, unsuitable, unethical, and incompetent CEOs currently wrecking companies left and right. If their definition of "business savvy" means knowing which designer suits to wear and looking good at press conferences, then they deserve to lose their money and the company deserves to fail.

      Any competent CIOs and other such employees should not waste their lives in unprofitable asylums, instead should busy themselves setting up their own company which they can then run like an actual business instead of a office pantomime.

      • by sirlark (1676276) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:11PM (#39727141)

        Make the T-shirt and wear it to the office!

        MANAGEMENT is the BIGGEST COST CENTRE

      • The real problem in business is in fact CEOs, other executive managers, and the methods that are being used to select them. CEOs have devolved into grossly overpaid playboys with no responsibilities towards shareholders, customers, or indeed the company itself.

        Not sure how many CEOs you've met, I only met a handful in my time. A couple were monkeys, but the majority were really quite clever, and most importantly politically saavy which is the key skill at that level. Also, most CEOs are actually successful, just go check the Forbes 1000. For every CEO with a huge bonus and negative profit sheet, there's 10 that are actually making good profits. Don't be fooled by the stories in the paper.

      • But ultimately, I place the blame on shareholders and investors.

        But you understand that a huge portion of the shareholders and investors are also grossly overpaid playboys? Even when the money itself comes from normal hardworking people, they don't have time to worry about what's happening to their money, so they dump it into some mutual fund and trust things will work out. You can't trust shareholders to be looking out for their interests, and that's part of the reason this whole system doesn't make a lot of sense.

  • by karnal (22275) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:50PM (#39725017)

    If a CIO is too buried into fighting fires, the CIO should figure out a way to have others fight those fires for him. Obviously, this may require a restructuring and/or more headcount in various areas in the organization, but it should be pretty easy to figure out I would think. And this is coming from a tech in the field, so to speak.

    • Re:Fair Warning (Score:5, Insightful)

      by v1 (525388) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:54PM (#39725077) Homepage Journal

      If a CIO is too buried into fighting fires, the CIO should figure out a way to have others fight those fires for him.

      This didn't sound like fire-fighting? Though I'll agree, someone that's always busy fighting fires needs to focus more on fire prevention.

    • by willaien (2494962)

      Obviously, this may require a restructuring and/or more headcount in various areas in the organization

      Or, a head hunt against problematic users (which may include an overbearing CEO)

  • by PessimysticRaven (1864010) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:51PM (#39725021)

    That's okay. Most CEO's should generally be dismissed as people with no leadership abilities, intelligence, morals, scruples or logic.

    Hence, "businessmen" as opposed to "Human."

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:51PM (#39725037) Journal
    If I wanted to do business only, I'd be getting an MBA. I wanted to work in the tech department, so I'm getting a different degree through the MIS department. You need someone who is more focused on the information and the technology than the business ramifications, otherwise you end up cutting corners dangerously and ending up with a dead infrastructure at a critical moment.
    • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:11PM (#39725357)
      CEOs don't care about "cutting corners dangerously", causing potential problems in some nebulous "future", they only care about this quarters stock price. By the time problems develop from their shortsightedness, it will be Someone Else's Problem.
    • also case in point is the CS people who don't have real work place tech skills but do have a lot theory.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kryliss (72493)

      CEO's think Larry at Jiffy Lube is just a qualified to work on cars as Scott the trained mechanic. Scott is just too focused on getting the car run right and stay running. Larry knows how to sell $10 air filters for $25!!

  • Conversely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gatkinso (15975) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:51PM (#39725045)

    CIO's are dismissed as suits without tech savvy by engineering.

    Go figure.

    • And most of them are dismissed as suits without business savvy by Wall Street.

      The reason CEOs are paid so much is that good ones are rare and they can make a massive difference to a company's performance. Unfortunately, no one seems to have yet worked out how to recognise the good ones (a good CEO for one company won't necessarily be able to run even a fairly similar one nearly as well).

      • Re:Conversely (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:29PM (#39725615)

        How do you know that they're rare? I don't think they're rare. Maybe they're just rare among the people who we choose to take those jobs. The way we generally pick CEOs is to promote people who are the most political, self-promoting, and backstabbing. I would expect leadership and decision making ability to be rare among that group, or at least not higher than the general population. But that isn't meaningful since it's a small sample.

      • by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:32PM (#39725655) Homepage

        But if we have no way to distinguish between the good ones and the bad ones, how do you know that good CEOs are rare?

        I'd also point out that, while the supply of good CEOs may be small, so is the demand. I mean, c'mon, how many Fortune 500 companies are there?

        My suspicion is that, once you eliminate the most obvious ways to run a company badly, it's all a big crap shoot. I mean this in the same way that you don't see heavily managed investment funds outperforming index funds over the long haul. So it's not clear what value is being added.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      How about a lot of them just get dismissed (fired) period just because the guy above them in the totem pole is an egomaniac that won't tolerate dissent and is more concerned with milking the company of enough gold to make a parachute out of than the company's long term health.

      When you have the power, being a greedy cutthroat in a position to loot the company blind and get away with it is quite profitable.

  • by icebike (68054) * on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:54PM (#39725087)

    I've often gotten the impression that IT is perceived by management as Janitorial services, or Corporate Archives, or the company cafeteria by companies that are not directly selling IT services themselves, as well as government agencies in general. They are a cost center, but not a revenue center. They are not customer facing, so they are just another physical plant cost. Like keeping the lights on, the water flowing, and the elevators running.

    In some companies this is in fact the proper place for IT services. If all a company's use of computer technology is merely to process letters and reports, fill out time sheets, and read email you really don't need to attributed a great deal of status or power to the IT staff.

    But who uses computers that way any more? Only really small business. Restaurants, plumbers, small stores, small law firms, etc.

    IT departments have a problem of perception, because the better they do their job (without being total dickheads about it) the less they get noticed, and the more they become perceived as mere Archivists or telephone repairmen. Its almost like management needs an emergency or outage every 4 years to remind them just how much of their business relies on their IT.

    That being said, unless your IT is customer facing (internet services or sales, etc) the perception that CIOs do not bring new business is reasonably valid. They may help you keep the business you have, but just about nothing IT can do will sell one more unit of product, or add one new customer. IT that is not customer facing is in fact still a support service. Support services tend not to make business decisions or grow the company.

    So maybe pushing CIOs into the front office and the boardroom was not always warranted. And maybe in a lot of companies they still don't belong there. And maybe CIOs should not be hired from technical backgrounds.

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      In light of the increasing hacktivism, blackhat activities for purely financial reasons, and the negative press many corporations have been getting recently, it sounds like the CIO needs to get in touch with the director of marketing, and hatch a joint PR venture to scoop up customers burned by the competition's lax IT policies.

      Eg, "did corporation X's shoddy security put your credit card through some crook's ATM? Here at corporation Y, we have proactively taken (enumerated technical steps) precautions and

      • by icebike (68054) *

        IT needs to stay in IT. The last thing we need is for them to join marketing.
        Wouldn't you really rather have them hardening your own installation rather then having them trying to publicly grandstand on a failure of the competition? Doesn't that simply make YOUR company more of a target?

        Does Stratfor ring any bells? [bbc.co.uk]

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:24PM (#39725543) Journal

      But who uses computers that way any more? Only really small business. Restaurants, plumbers, small stores, small law firms, etc.

      Not even then. I just ordered a pizza from a local shop. The have a tracking system for each stage of pizza delivery (order processing, preparation, cooking, delivery) and shows you online where your order is in that sequence, and sends an automated SMS when the pizza goes out for delivery. They almost certainly use a GPS route finding system for their delivery people to take the pizzas, and may use a slightly more complex version to decide whether to send out multiple pizzas on a single run.

      Small companies are often among the first to adopt new technology into their work flow, because hiring an extra employee is a massive expense for them, while tweaking an automated system is a lot cheaper.

      • by icebike (68054) *

        Sure, but those guys are just using an off the shelf package for this. Any mom-and-pop company can use those, without a CIO, or even a single IT guy.

        The big chains, yeah, they have and need an IT department, but unless its customer facing (web based pizza ordering, with smart phone apps, etc) that guy is not bringing in new customers.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:38PM (#39725745)

      I've often gotten the impression that IT is perceived by management as Janitorial services, or Corporate Archives, or the company cafeteria by companies that are not directly selling IT services themselves, as well as government agencies in general. They are a cost center, but not a revenue center. They are not customer facing, so they are just another physical plant cost. Like keeping the lights on, the water flowing, and the elevators running.

      Company cafeteria... customer facing... you don't know how right you are. It's just another symptom of out-of-touch CEOs not understanding the role of IT in their business.

      I've been working for the last 6 years at a fairly well-known US-based company that designs & manufactures equipment and apparel for a certain fitness industry. We've got all kinds of engineers and designers whose work will live and die by their computers. IT supports them and the entire infrastructure that's constantly moving data from one place to another to help them get their jobs done. But I don't think the CEO notices at all.

      We've been hearing the messages to "cut costs" and "do more with less" especially strong in the last two years. IT budget is slashed, and we're saving money through attrition: one person quits/leaves/fired, and their work is divided amongst the remaining members of that team. My last annual raise was less than the cost-of-living adjustment. There was no money in the budget for me to attend a software seminar earlier in this calendar year -- I was told the travel budget didn't have any room in it -- yet it was in town (no hotel or airfare, I could drive from that hotel to home in 30min) and cost under $1000, and I'd be surrendering my own personal time (a Saturday) to go (I'm salary, not paid for that time). The only exception to the IT budget crunch is one department which writes and supports software that is used by our dealers.

      Last quarter the CEO had his company pow-wow and gave out his president's award: "These folks have been working hard, making improvements, and despite the fact that most of use benefit from their efforts, I don't think they're properly recognized. My president's award goes to...{IT? IT I'm thinking}... the Cafeteria!" wut. the. fuck.

      CEO and HR find new and stupid ways to spend money all the time, like replacing the NOT BROKEN formica-topped tables in the cafeteria with butcher block, replacing the steel-tube plastic-seat chairs with these things [amazon.com] at $135 a pop retail. Fancy new stonework patio with wrought-iron furniture and gas grill outside... the list goes on.

      Holiday parties have been scheduled, and then indefinitely postponed. Holiday turkey gift certificates disappeared. Summer family picnic, gone. Despite record profits, the $100USD "attaboy" envelopes didn't show this year.

      The CEOs spend their money on stuff they can see and touch. Stuff that will make them look good to outsiders. Even at this privately-held company. I wish he'd turn the checkbook over to an actual businessman.

    • I've often gotten the impression that IT is perceived by management as Janitorial services, or Corporate Archives, or the company cafeteria by companies that are not directly selling IT services themselves, as well as government agencies in general.

      IT that is not customer facing is in fact still a support service.

      I think you've fallen into the same perception trap that you correctly outlined in your first sentenced.
      I might be biased, having spent most of my professional life in the IT guts of various companies, but here's how I see it:
      * IT does indeed have a perception problem, and it centers two items: people only see IT's impact when things go wrong, and they don't realize what IT can do for them
      * IT's perception problems can only be resolved at the strategic level, and that's where a CIO/CTO earns his keep.

      The wa

    • by roeguard (1113267)

      This.

      I think a lot of CIOs, and IT managers of all stripes, don't understand that there is a difference between just "keeping things working" and actually adding value to the organization as it pursues its market strategy. Typically, I try to spend at least half my time looking for ways for IT to actually add value to other silos. This involves a lot of "fuzzy people" time, learning what those roles do, and how the people in those roles "feel" about their work. When you spend the time to get to know your

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      what they're bitching about is that they expect their cio's to hand over them the next facebook on a golden platter. _that's_ the "business decision" they want.

    • I started a flamewar a few times with that argument here that sales make money you cost money. Therefore you should not get paid that much etc.

      But in a very large enterprise you get efficiency by leaving 2 million line excel spreadsheets all over the network to a centralized database program. ERP saves time and money instead of hiring a bunch of college kids to call people and ask questions when a remote internet/intranet app integrated can solve this saving money. What about about increased security and re

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365)
      The question is not if IT is customer facing or bringing in new business; the question is if technology needs to be discussed at board level. Those aren't discussions about buying iPhones vs. Androids for staff, nor is it about buying IT stuff at the right price or making the right purchasing deals; it is about technological developments or decisions that can have an impact on the company strategy or internal workings of the company. If you use IT for bookkeeping and handling orders, then your IT just nee
    • by gizmonic (302697) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:25PM (#39726507) Homepage

      They may help you keep the business you have, but just about nothing IT can do will sell one more unit of product, or add one new customer.

      Umm, what?!?! Even if IT isn't customer facing, they can still make internal tools and resources to help the salesforce. Sure, IT itself may never make a sale directly, but when the sales person in the field is able to pull up data and information compiled by IT, or use a tool IT created, to help land a customer, then IT most certainly did in fact do something to help sell more product.

      Personally, I think the bigger issue is the historical disconnect between IT and Sales. The CEO feels that and it lessens the perceived value of IT. But, when IT and Sales can work together, you can create some extremely powerful sales tools that will absolutely impact revenue. And when you do, the CEO will take notice. But that requires a CIO and IT staff that can work with Sales to help get that done.

      At my company, if Sales has an ask, we talk and see how to best do what they're looking for. And if I think of something that might be useful, I'll approach Sales and ask if my idea would be of any use to them. If so, we'll hammer out details and add it to the project list. And because of that willingness to work together, we've created stuff that absolutely drives business. And that flexibility has kept my whole team employed through 4 different buyouts over the past 10 years.

      Yes, IT has to keep the servers up and the desktops running and virus free, and that's not glamorous, and doesn't make for spectacular headlines. But IT can go far beyond that, and needs to if it wants a serious place in the business beyond just "janitors." And maybe if the CIO doesn't understand that, then the CEO's derision is justified.

  • by redelm (54142) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:55PM (#39725093) Homepage

    So many CEOs don't like CIOs? And resort to namecalling? They reveal themselves ...

    Such CEOs are very arrogant and resentful of any nay-sayers. Even when the objections are based on physics or established computing capabilities.

    The problem is such CEOs have gotten to where they are by pushing people around, and believe physics can be similarly pushed. Sorry, but it won't even notice.

  • That's the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chicago_scott (458445) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @01:59PM (#39725157) Journal

    "CIOs are being dismissed by CEOs as too techie and not aligned with business activities."

    One of the main purposes of CIOs and CTOs to represent the technology side of the business at the executive level. I work for a client that has no CIO or CTO and middle management is supposed to step up for the technology-side, but their not at the same level as the CEO and they're afraid to tell the executives the truth. CTOs and CIOs report to the board so that they have an equal standing with other executives.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Too many CIO get bogged down into detail they shouldn't care about. To busy explaining why X is a good technology instead of explaining how X is good for the business direction.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:00PM (#39725181) Homepage Journal
    <SARCASM>

    Clearly anyone who tells the CEO something can't or shouldn't be done can't be doing so because of technical limitations, but simply because they don't share the CEO's brilliant business savvy.
    </SARCASM>

  • Sounds like these CEOs define "breadth of business perspectives" as "various confirmations of my perspective".

  • Are the CEOs allowing HR to dictate who is their CIO, or does the board choose the CIO, or what? It seems like if anybody would be in the best position to put the right person in as CIO, it would be the CEO.
    • Normally the CEO picks the C Level employees and the board rubber stamps the selection. The board has a little more sway over Finance and Compliance (If they have one) because these should have more independence from the CEO .

      However, there are no set, formal rules. In reality the CEO helps pick the board that’s going to supervise him, so there that.

      For example, the board can fire anybody they want. If the CEO backs CIO A, and the board fires A and hires B, what does that mean for the working relatio

    • C-level positions are usually appointed by the board.

      While the CEO is the leader among the C-levels, each C-level generally has their own mandate and goals as laid out by the board.

  • by doston (2372830) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:07PM (#39725301)
    Imdustry shouldn't have followed the government's lead when they instituted titles like that. Is industry going to start using the term Tsar soon, too? Or maybe they want their CIOs to multitask and also work as bean counters now. Kind of like industry wants me to design systems, administer them AND be able to program like a pro. Everybody needs to do more to ensure we keep that unemployment rate high, employment insecurity high, fear levels high and wages real LOW, right? "According to the Computer History Museum, the C-level position for IT is believed to have started in military and government, then becoming adopted by industry. William Synnott and William Gruber get credit for coining the term in 1981."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:08PM (#39725309)

    CIOs are in charge of a giant cost center. That a section of the business where money goes to die. The CEO's POV is that anyone who can't make a profit for the company is lacking in business sense. This, of course, misses the point entirely. However, when you take into account who the inevitable audience is (the board and the shareholders) for every single thought, word and deed of every single CEO, the comments make perfect sense. No CEO worth his $10 million salary would ever say that anyone who loses company money has business sense.

    In the end a good CEO knows you don't hire a CIO based on their business sense or even their technical know-how. You Hire them based on their ability to successfully deliver on technology promises. That's more a project-leader thing and not something CEOs are known to do very well. Its the same with CFOs. You hire them based on their ability to know exactly where the money went, is going, and will go. Again, not a trait CEOs are famous for.

    • CIOs are in charge of a giant cost center. That a section of the business where money goes to die. The CEO's POV is that anyone who can't make a profit for the company is lacking in business sense.

      Every time I hear how IT is a cost center and does not make money for the company I love to point out that accounting is also a cost center and does not make money for the company.

      Guess it is time to save the company money and lay off accountants.

  • College (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:13PM (#39725373)

    In college, all of the IT degrees were part of the School of Business rather than the School of Technology - and all of the professors preached that while tech is cool, it's useless if it doesn't help the business. So far in my professional career, I've found that to always be the case.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:17PM (#39725439) Journal
    He said "they were perceived as unable to bring a breadth of business perspective to the table."

    In English, this means, CIO's aren't percieved as being at the same level of power mad greedy fuck headed douchebaggery as CEOs.

  • What questions were asked to reach this conclusion? Does Gartner administer essay question-style surveys? Because I don't see how the data we have fits that interpretation, necessarily.

    CEOs say their companies will grow, and that the CIO won't get more important. Couldn't that be because the CIO's role, as King of IT, is already as important as it can be? I also don't see where CEOs were asked anything about their CIO's business savvy.

    It seems completely made up. What am I missing?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's okay CEOs appear to be failing in the eyes of everyone else.

    I never did understand why executive management is considered so much more important than other roles or deserving of so much more pay. They specialize in communication, they communicate with other departments and other organizations, that's their job.

    How is that skill any more demanding or important than a technical skill?

    Last time I checked a decent IT degree requires just as much if not more work than an MBA, there is also a glut of MBAs

  • by Atrox666 (957601) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:28PM (#39725591)

    We have a completely technically inept (as in can't work his own computer) CIO.
    It's like having your plumber doing brain surgery.

  • In other words (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:35PM (#39725705) Journal

    To the typical CEO of today, the Sales VPs make money while IT costs money.

    CEO: All the CIOs keep saying we should waste money upgrading from IE 6 and our crappy Windows 2000 servers. All IT does is cost money money and I can't raise the share price by staying ahead of the competition when I can just let my infrastructure fall apart and lead by saving money and not innovating. Waaa CIOS suck

    CEO: What?! What do you mean my IPAD can't display that IE 6 app properly? I pay for the state of the art outsourced development team. bla bla

    Typical BS from CEOs who got promoted up for being good cost accountants with only an eye for increasing efficiency and cutting cost while not saying the forest from the trees.

    20 years ago CEOs were former engineers and product developers. They understood investments and did not focus on just costs. WHenever I hear failing to be alianged with the needs of the business. I just picture someone being cheap and thinking all IT is good for is help desk and word and excel. Not anything else like database, ERP, or anything else that adds value. Its just a cost and nothing else.

  • by wmelnick (411371) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:02PM (#39726131)
    If a CIO is being looked at this way, perhaps the CIO is functioning more as a CTO, handling technical details, than a CIO. If a company has only one of these psotions, then the CIO will naturally have to take care of the CTO duties and will likely have little time to devote to a CIO's duties, which are far more business-oriented.
  • by Skapare (16644) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:21PM (#39726425) Homepage

    ... if he/she will fully respect the techies they hire to make the technical decisions. I'd rather it be that way. I hate playing guessing games with budgets.

  • by whitroth (9367) <whitroth AT 5-cent DOT us> on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:25PM (#39726501) Homepage

    The real problem is the MBA degree, which i've been saying for 30 years is destroying the US. They're the ones with "long-term thinking" == "next quarter".

    In terms specifically of IT, I recently realized that the major problem was the complete idiocy, started AFAIK in the 80's, of declaring each part of the company "profit" or "cost" centers. Everywhere I've worked, if they had that, they kept trying to make IT a "profit" center... meaning charging other divisions for the work, leading to:
          a) other divisions buying their own equipment and software
          b) other divisions creating half-baked software to get around paying IT to do it, which is why you find
                            mind-bogglingly big spreadsheets instead of databases, and
          c) cut spending by IT on hardware, software, and, I mean, why would you want to spend all that money on
                          experienced people, we can hire two or three folks right out of college who are "fresh", or maybe outsource
                          it to Asia or eastern Europe for a quarter the price.....

                      mark "then there's HR...."

  • by bryan1945 (301828) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @06:10PM (#39728717) Journal

    "Angry Birds only cost me $0.99, why does a datacenter cost $20 million?"
    "What do you mean we need computers, mine works fine!" (coming from the guy who gets a new one every 3 months)
    "It's not like we really can get hacked, right? We have firedoors in the building."
    "It's 90% complete? We can fix it later, right?"
    "You don't make any money for the company, you just spend it on stuff. You're just red ink."
    "I want a cloud." "What do you mean it costs money? It's just out there, right?"
    "What do you mean buying Oracle is a bad idea? Synergy!"

  • News at 11... (Score:3, Informative)

    by rcharbon (123915) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @07:17AM (#39732491) Homepage
    CEOs pause from giving themselves another raise and more stock options to exercise their egos. In other news, sun rises in east.

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