Sleeping Habits of CIOs Revealed
March 31, 2014 Dan Burger
What keeps CIOs up at night? Not surprisingly, it’s the same thing that keeps a lot of IT professionals up at night. Sleep only comes easily because you have worked 18 hours in a row trying to solve problems and implement solutions.
The answers, in this case, were provided during an IBM hosted audio-visual presentation billed as a Powercast. That’s Power as in Power Systems. This was the first Powercast, but won’t be the last.
The message delivery method was a virtual roundtable featuring three professionals: an innovative CIO of an organization that is technology savvy, a director of a systems integrator company that works with CIOs to plan and develop technology deployments, and an industry analyst with insights into companies worldwide. That would be Roxanne Reynolds-Lair, CIO at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising; Pete Elliot, vice president of Key Information Systems; and Joe Clabby, president of Clabby Analytics.
I had a seat in the virtual audience, where I had a great view of all of the above on my computer monitor. I was eager to hear the horror stories that most frequently cause sleepless nights and daytime caffeine addictions.
Make your own list before you read another line.
Elliot narrowed his list of headaches in a bottle to managing budgets, keeping talent, security, and how to take advantage of the cloud.
Reynolds-Lair also mentioned budgeting as a top concern, but expanded the definition of that concern to balancing limited resources with increasing demands in the areas of compliance, licensing, adopting new technology, plus skill sets to go with them. She also added the worries that integrating technology may not scale, or adapt to change, or that it may be difficult to implement. Her list also included the worries that come with finding and retaining IT people who can contribute to the department’s success and included business partners in that mix.
Turns out that Reynolds-Lair and Elliot have a business partner relationship that served as an example of the value of quality partnerships in achieving IT success.
Elliot had the best line of the day by noting that technology doesn’t always behave the way you need it to behave. “Hardware will fail and software will eventually work,” he said with only the slightest grin. “We understand that and we operate with flexibility and teamwork.”
Reynolds-Lair backed that up by emphasizing the value of a trusted business partner when trying to sort through the integration and implementation obstacles.
From Clabby’s perspective, the biggest concerns for CIOs were the pressures to choose the right equipment, raise efficiencies, maximize the ROI on systems and software, lock down security, and find people with the skills needed for enterprise computing.
On the topic of security, Clabby said: “I’m scared about what’s going on as we increase the number of transactions completed globally. How are we going to protect this massive amount of data? We have to be protected 100 percent of the time.”
The entire Powercast can be seen by following this link. You’ll have to register with Spreecast before you can access it however.