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(Network World)   Who knew that big-time corporate CIOs could make as much money as backup infielders?   (networkworld.com) divider line 10
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1296 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Jun 2012 at 10:03 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-27 08:45:55 AM  
I didn't see many folks with 7 figure salaries responsible solely for IT on that list.
 
2012-06-27 10:07:04 AM  
My experience with talking with CIOs as a vendor is that it's always your fault and why should they stay with you, but mainly because they were given poor information from the people below them and frequently the problem is on their own side, but they are too incompetent (because of the CIO) to recognize it and bash the vendor instead.
 
2012-06-27 10:07:45 AM  
A CIO is responsible for managing, among other things, a company's data. A company's data is everything these days. Can you imagine what would happen to a shipping company if they lost all their addresses? What would happen to a payroll department if they lost their employee database? How would Wal-Mart recover if their Barcodes stopped scanning? (before you say "they'd type in prices, hurr hurr" keep in mind that they have a unified perpetual inventory system, meaning that they'd have no way, other than a physical check, to measure changes in stock)

So yea, CIO's make bank.
Right under them? Database Administrators.
 
2012-06-27 10:21:01 AM  

PC LOAD LETTER: My experience with talking with CIOs as a vendor is that it's always your fault and why should they stay with you, but mainly because they were given poor information from the people below them and frequently the problem is on their own side, but they are too incompetent (because of the CIO) to recognize it and bash the vendor instead.


Vendor here too (infrastructure). CIOs run the gamut, I think. The most common problem is the tendency to believe that products can fix issues that are more associated with process. Vendors by and large are guilty of fostering this mindset, but all they're doing is telling people is possible with a product. A good CIO will be able to tell the difference between what is possible with a product, and what is possible with that product in their environment.

But yeah, when things go wrong there's a natural tendency to blame the vendor. Internal folks have to pass the buck, right? And even contractors are people with families to feed, so you don't want to blame them too much. The people associated with the vendor will still have jobs when you pass the buck on to them. So vendors make for good scapegoats.

I'd be more butthurt about the whole thing, but the pay is too damned good.
 
2012-06-27 10:24:57 AM  

Babwa Wawa: PC LOAD LETTER: My experience with talking with CIOs as a vendor is that it's always your fault and why should they stay with you, but mainly because they were given poor information from the people below them and frequently the problem is on their own side, but they are too incompetent (because of the CIO) to recognize it and bash the vendor instead.

Vendor here too (infrastructure). CIOs run the gamut, I think. The most common problem is the tendency to believe that products can fix issues that are more associated with process. Vendors by and large are guilty of fostering this mindset, but all they're doing is telling people is possible with a product. A good CIO will be able to tell the difference between what is possible with a product, and what is possible with that product in their environment.

But yeah, when things go wrong there's a natural tendency to blame the vendor. Internal folks have to pass the buck, right? And even contractors are people with families to feed, so you don't want to blame them too much. The people associated with the vendor will still have jobs when you pass the buck on to them. So vendors make for good scapegoats.

I'd be more butthurt about the whole thing, but the pay is too damned good.


Yea, I'd imagine it's tempting to try to sell them a bill of goods when they call ready to chew your ass.
 
2012-06-27 12:11:11 PM  

Babwa Wawa:

But yeah, when things go wrong there's a natural tendency to blame the vendor. Internal folks have to pass the buck, right? And even contractors are people with families to feed, so you don't want to blame them too much. The people associated with the vendor will still have jobs when you pass the buck on to them. So vendors make for good scapegoats.


Eh, its a wash between the two in my experience. The CIO gets some managers to get wined and dined by the vendors and told why one product is the awesome and will cure all their problems. Some dog and pony shows are done, maybe a limited POC. During this POC is the only time that some techincal people are involved, and it usually has to be wedged into other parts of their daily job. We find there are some limitations in the product, duly note it, and make our recommendations. Often the managers and CIO ignore the recommendations, regardless if there are significant hurdles this product will cause.

So when the product is purchased and goes into implementation, stuff fails to work as adverstised. The techinical people again say why but this is heard more as 'the product doesn't work as adverstised', when the truth is, it won't work as billed in our environment because of x,y,z unless a,b,c is also done... which is what we told you 4 months ago and was rejected.

TLDR, the fault often lies on both sides.
 
2012-06-27 01:37:04 PM  
I've always enjoyed working with CIOs.

It never fails to amaze me the lack of knowledge that most of them have regarding what they're doing or what should be important to them in that role. Biggest issue I've had with them was to talk about technical issues without making it seem like a lecture. A good CIO surrounds themselves with good business and technical staff. Most CIOs do not.

More often than not, it brings good comedic value to my job. In the situations where I was dealing with a truly competent CIO, it was actually a pleasure and things were done as most IT staff only dream it. The handful of times when the CIO was truly bad were the very definition of "painful" (for some reason they seem to have the worst personalities and largest egos; best thing to do is solve the problem as best able and let them fail on their own... they're better at drawing attention to their failures that way).

/trying to explain to a "very technical" CIO how a network address is stored in a packet and how to spoof it was a highlight of these experiences. I could hear her own staff snicker when I had to back up and explain what a packet was.
 
2012-06-27 02:38:20 PM  

meathome: /trying to explain to a "very technical" CIO how a network address is stored in a packet and how to spoof it was a highlight of these experiences. I could hear her own staff snicker when I had to back up and explain what a packet was.


Yeah, it's annoying when an account rep asks me do a "technical brief" for the CIO and they're not prepared to comprehend it. For that reason I don't prepare presentations for first meetings anymore. I prepare for first meetings by doing research on the company, then have a 15-60 minute discussion about the status of their environment, initiatives they've got going on, and what keeps them up at night. If a presentation comes at all, it will be in the second meeting.

But as long as aa CIO doesn't misrepresent their background and ability to understand, I don't think it's bad if they're not technical. I've observed that some of the best CIOs come from the user population and business side. Pulling the CIO from the data center is nearly always a disaster unless they are actually providing IT as a service. I think the best run shops have a close CIO/CTO team (even if the CTO isn't actually called that, but rather a technical adviser whose advice is listened to).
 
2012-06-27 03:03:23 PM  
I had to deal with the CIO at my last job quite a bit. Huge company but IT was a mess. IMO he was as dumb as a bag of hammers. Coincidence?
 
2012-06-27 03:29:59 PM  

Babwa Wawa:
But as long as aa CIO doesn't misrepresent their background and ability to understand, I don't think it's bad if they're not technical. I've observed that some of the best CIOs come from the user population and business side. Pulling the CIO from the data center is nearly always a disaster unless they are actually providing IT as a service. I think the best run shops have a close CIO/CTO team (even if the CTO isn't actually called that, but rather a technical adviser whose advice is listened to).


Bolded for truth.

The best CIOs weren't the most technical, nor the least. They were the most honest about their abilities and personal level of comfort with the materials being discussed.
 
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