Staying the Course as a CIO: How to Overcome the Trials and Challenges of IT Leadership

Staying the Course as a CIO: How to Overcome the Trials and Challenges of IT Leadership

Jonathan Mitchell

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 1118968875

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The shelf-life of a Chief Information Officer can be shockingly short. Few survive in post for more than a few years.  More often each falls prey to insurmountable problems and their careers come to a sharp and ignominious end. In this book, a global CIO with over thirty years of experience in major corporations examines the main reasons why this happens. Readers will understand which types of issue can cause problems for an IT Leader and more importantly, they will learn strategies of how these problems can be minimized or even avoided.

IT is often seen a technical backwater, but it is a discipline which has the capability to add massive value to an organisation whether it is in the private or the public sector – provided of course it has the right leadership doing the right things.

Aspiring IT Leaders will need to deal with a common set of recurring trials and challenges. These include:

·         Overcoming the challenge of managing diverse and conflicting stakeholders

·         How to deal with large and complex projects

·         Making sense of software and how to handle the rapidly changing technology landscape

·         Knowing when  to outsource and how to get the best out of an outsourcing partner

·         Harnessing the intellectual power of consultants to help you meet your goals

·         And last but not least, how to develop a set of strategies that are aligned with your corporate goals and then make sure your resources are properly targetted so that the IT function generates maximum positive impact for the enterprise.

For IT professionals looking to fully integrate their function into the enterprise, 'Staying the Course as a CIO’ is a valuable source of practical advice, all based on real experience.



















times a minute required to stay alive. Olympian levels of panting are required. This is not a time to forget that oxygen bottle, particu­ larly if you don’t have any medals in your trophy cabinet. Alternatively, might it just be that an Everest ascent project will cost about $100,000 of your own money (Harris, 2012)? Whether it is death or destitution, both are probably great motivators for any budding project planner. “I have not conquered Everest, it has merely tolerated me.” Peter Habeler So,

engine, then they would be happy to provide it—even though the alloys for the part may no longer be available. Why? Because this company had taken a simple decision that blackmailing customers was bad for business. If this idea ever catches on you might be able to look forward to the day when your software vendor isn’t standing behind you, with their arm around your throat and that magnum barrel pressed against your temple, throatily telling you to “be sensible”. Finally on this topic, there is a

well as air traffic controllers in fact (which is why The Georgia International Conference Centre in Atlanta and Richmond Park in London are both very safe places to walk at least as far as falling aircraft debris is concerned). Indeed, if they did not write their code so beautifully, you would probably be reading this book from a transatlantic ferry with another four full days to go before you reach the long queue of ships waiting to traverse the Panama Canal. The reason for this perfection is

“The only good user is a dead user”. The security needs of your network will of course, horribly constrain the things that you can do for them, but it is pointless explaining this to anyone. They won’t understand and they won’t care. Why should they? Your users will just see a computer that’s much the same as the one they have at home, except that this machine is probably older and of course they can’t change their wallpaper or replace the arrow cursor with a banana that peels itself. When people

exaggerated nightmare scenarios and dark suspicions of wrongdoing abound. Such tales are eagerly consumed in the halls, cubes and coffee stations of the hapless herds of prey, better known as the in‐house IT department. For years, in‐house IT organisations have quaked in fear at the prospect of being “out‐sourced”. And they have good reason to be frightened. In the nineties, huge swathes of loyal company servants were shovelled wholesale into the waiting jaws of the salivating outsourcing

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