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The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership by Martha Heller

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Introduction

What Is the CIO Paradox?

In 1999, I started asking CIOs a question: When you walked into your most recent CIO job, what did you find? The answer was almost always the same: “I inherited a mess. IT had no credibility with the business. Projects were overdue and over budget. We had no project management discipline, no governance, no career paths, and the team had outdated skills.” Thirteen years later, I am still asking the question, and I am getting the same response at the same rate. CIOs continue to inherit a mess.

How can this be? How can CIOs strive tirelessly to improve their IT organizations only to leave “a mess” in their wake? Why has the rate of failure of IT projects and IT organizations remained so high over the years? ...

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