The other day, silicon.com's editor had lunch with a technology
company CEO. He came away from the meal with three things: the
bill, a bloated, gassy feeling in his stomach and an intriguing
perspective on the vocational resilience of the modern CIO.
Essentially, the crux of the pinot noir-fuelled argument is that
of all the senior managers in a business, the CIO is the least
likely to get the sack (see:
The argument goes thus: the role and responsibilities of the CIO
and the IT department are so Byzantine it's hard for the rest of
the business to work out whether the CIO is actually doing a
good or bad job - or indeed anything at all. Brilliant.
Not convinced? Consider this: the sales director can be judged
on whether that team has sold enough widgets and whether his/her
expenses claim is marginally less than the GDP of Ecuador.
The finance director can be judged on whether the figures add
up. Easy. Dull bunch accountants but very accountable.
HR directors can be judged on the sheer volume of pointless,
soul-draining forms and procedures they manage to foist upon
company staff. By the way, sacking your HR director isn't that
difficult, you just need to be SMART about it.
However, CIOs are wise and wizened corporate arachnids, hidden
in dense webs of jargon and service level agreements, tangles of
multi-coloured cables and stuttering, blinking lights that the
rest of the business simply can't comprehend. Or, at the very
least, can't be bothered to try and comprehend.
So given the existence of the bullet-proof CIO, it's no wonder
that insanely tech-savvy kids are having problems getting jobs
in IT these days.
After all, there's a serious log-jam of lifers in the system
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
Interesting quote from a Silicon.com newsletter:-