CIO: Should I stay or should I go now?
Earlier this week I was a guest keynote speaker at the Gartner Outsourcing and IT Services Summit. Given the market, I was amazed at the number of senior IT executives in attendance.
My presentation, entitled ‘Does the IT Department have a Future?’, was well received. It could have gone either way as I chose to ‘take the gloves off’ and deliver a clear and unequivocal message that the IT department and IT industry needs a strong CIO in order to avoid a head on collision with oblivion.
It would appear that CIOs understand this but are still faced with the real-world issue of the career-limiting effects of challenging the boss. It occurred to me that not challenging the boss would be equally career-limiting, given that the IT budget has been cut to such a large extent now that it is only a matter of time before a serious customer-damaging outage occurs.
Perhaps now is the time for CIOs to walk away from employers who simply see IT as a cost to be managed (without regard to service levels) and towards organisations that appreciate the value IT can deliver?
The public sector seems to recognise the role of IT in respect of operational efficiency and citizen experience. As do tech-centric start-ups who are actively preparing to eat your organisation’s lunch.
Plan B is to hang in there and hope that the economic situation gets so dire that the CEO has no alternative but to explore how IT can save the business.
Both options are risky, but on the basis that ‘hope is not a strategy’ then going to where you will be appreciated seems to make most sense.