CIO Does Not Stand For 'Career Is Over' - InformationWeek

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Commentary
3/28/2007
04:42 PM
Rajan Chandras
Rajan Chandras
Commentary
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CIO Does Not Stand For 'Career Is Over'

…any more than, say, CEO stands for Capability Eludes Opportunity or CFO means Clever Financial Obfuscation - okay, maybe there's something in that last one… On the other hand, neither does CIO stand for Completely Infallible and Omniscient; CIO's need guidance, too. Here's a plethora of educational resources, including a new book on CIO Best Practices.

…any more than, say, CEO stands for Capability Eludes Opportunity or CFO means Clever Financial Obfuscation -- okay, maybe there's something in that last one. In a global economy that is more dependent than ever on information and technology, the CIO can only become more influential and in demand.

Forrester Research reports that global spending on IT in 2007 will rise 6 percent to reach $2.02 trillion. How big is that? Well, consider that global military spending is estimated to be "only" slightly more than $1 trillion. Or one way to look at it: chief information officers have twice as much opportunity to do good as military officers have to do harm (ignoring, for the moment, the not inconsiderable IT spending on military).On the other hand, neither does CIO stand for Completely Infallible and Omniscient; CIO's need help and guidance, too. But for guidance in his or her never-ending quest to align corporate technology with business strategy, where's a CIO to go?

Resources for education and training are plentiful; check out magazines/e-zines like Optimize and CIO magazine, both of which are chock-a-block with information for CIO's and the rest of the IT world. Or join an executive education program from top-notch universities like Harvard Business School and Carnegie Mellon Institute or, if you work for the government, the Federal CIO Council. Last but not least, participate in community platforms such as the Forbes CIO Forum and the Western CIO Forum (organized by the Western Information Technology Council.

There are also many books out there for the informed CIO. I recently chanced upon CIO Best Practices - Enabling Strategic Value with Information Technology, a new book published by Wiley in the SAS Business Series. Though it's from SAS, the book is not an advertisement for SAS products (not that I hold anything against the products or the company - far from it). Written by an array of expert practitioners, from CIO's to consultants, the book provides an excellent overview on an eclectic-yet-essential set of disciplines for the CIO (or the CIO-in-the-making).

Architecture, portfolio management, organizational development, performance management and the balanced scorecard, customer value and profitability, outsourcing and return on investment: The book covers these and more, but thankfully it is neither a tome nor a treatise - you could probably finish it on a single coast-to-coast flight.

Rajan Chandras is a consultant with a global IT consulting, systems integration and outsourcing firm, and can be reached at [email protected].…any more than, say, CEO stands for Capability Eludes Opportunity or CFO means Clever Financial Obfuscation - okay, maybe there's something in that last one… On the other hand, neither does CIO stand for Completely Infallible and Omniscient; CIO's need guidance, too. Here's a plethora of educational resources, including a new book on CIO Best Practices.

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