Chapter 3. ET Phone Home

One of the worst “hangovers” from the mainframe era of computing is the typecast role of the CIO as a technologist, the engineer first and business leader a distant second. Like many other expert resources, the perception of the CIO as a technology expert has led his or her peers to consult him or her only when specific input is required in the CIO's area of expertise. Contrast this to the role of the CEO, CFO, or COO. While the latter two have expertise centering on finance and operations, they are primarily tasked with executing business strategy in their particular areas. If a new market is to be exploited, the CFO determines the financial risks and rewards, and how to finance the entrée into the new market. In a similar vein, the COO determines how the company's operations will change to accommodate the new market, perhaps by introducing new products and planning their production, or by modifying the supply chain to facilitate transactions with new customers in that particular market. Contrast these roles to that of the CIO, where he or she is not tasked with planning how technology resources can be leveraged to enter a new market; rather, the CIO is generally called after battle plans have been drawn, employees mobilized, and execution of the strategy long since started. The CIO is called in as an expert when something stops working, or when bandages must be applied to an existing system. It is time for this role to change.

There is an entertaining “chicken‐and‐egg”‐type ...

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