Adventures of an IT Leader Readings

Why would Carl Williams ask a non-technical manager to assume the CIO position?In his Google search, Barton comes across the statement: “more than any other group within a company, IT is positioned to understand the business end-to-end, across departmental boundaries…” do you agree or disagree?

Carl asked a non-technical manager to be the CIO because the CIO needs to have a strong management background more so than an IT background. The CIO is not in charge of the day to day operations, he is in charge for the oversight and longterm goals of the company. Barton was chosen because of his prior management experience. I do believe that the CIO needs to understand the business across departmental boundaries because the IT Department is the backbone of the company and is there to serve the other departments. If a CIO does not know the company from inside and out, he may not be able to fully support the company with all its needs.

Why do you think that Bill Davies predicts that Barton will not last a year?

I believe that Davies says Barton will not last a year because he has no technical background. Davies could have had only a technical background with no management experience which was why he was let go.  As long as Barton meets the rest of his team and somewhat understands the technical aspects of the department, he should last longer than a year.

Why do all Barton’s direct reports need to have their technical experts at the meetings?

Barton’s direct reporters need to have their technical experts at the meetings because some of the questions Barton is asking are too technical for even the main direct reporters.  An IT department can have many sub groups with employees who specify in certain tasks like database administrators, network administrators and server administrators. When there is a new CIO, he or she should meet or talk with everyone in the IT department to gather as much information as possible about what everyone does.  A meeting with everyone there would help.

What did Barton learn from his bookstore trip?

Barton learned that he cannot learn every single detail about the network, databases, etc. He needs to meet with the other employees and the direct reporters to talk with them to gather more information. As a CIO, he is in charge of managing the department, not the day to day operations.


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