Jim McGee: We still need bridges between technology and business.
A report on a recent Booz Allen study on CEE/CIO job tenure. One implication is that there is still a significant opportunity in improving the communication between CEOs and CIOs. Part of that mission has already made real progress in that CIOs are much more adept at couching their conversations in business terms. By and large, they have learned to speak the language of investment and return.
The other part of that mission isn’t as far along. That is the need to build a deeper understanding of technology possibilities and limits on the part of line business executives. Some of this may self-correct as we get new generations of managers who have grown up around technology. They will certainly have less fear. On the other hand, I don’t believe this new generation of management has an equally solid perspective on the limits of complex systems. They’re comfortable with technology as magic. Next they have to start learning a bit more about how the magic happens.
[source: McGee’s Musings]
CEOs aren’t the only executives in dire straits these days. According to an article by Booz Allen Hamilton’s James Weinberg, John Boochever, and Thomas Park, “CIO longevity in the job averages less than two years, and the reason almost half of all CIOs wind up fired is that they fail to establish good working relationships with their CEOs and the rest of the management team. No wonder many in the industry believe that ‘CIO’ stands for ‘career is over.’”
With such short CIO and CEO tenures, Booz Allen Hamilton thinks it’s difficult to set a business (and, for that matter, e-business) direction for a company.
The article from Weinberg et al points out that, “Improved productivity (even if it can’t be easily measured) from advances in technology was the underpinning of the nation’s longest economic expansion and the Internet is forcing a reinvention of the way … companies do business with consumers, suppliers, and partners, and is fundamentally altering how their employees communicate with one another.”