Forbes Five Lessons CIOs Should Take From Their Peers At Technology Companies

April 07, 2014
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Five Lessons CIOs Should Take From Their Peers At Technology Companies

by Peter High, published on


Chief information officers at technology companies can have it tough. For one, IT operates as a group of technologists in a sea of technologists. Often the engineers in the traditional “business” functions think of themselves as doing more important work than that of the IT department, which leads to the conclusion IT and the CIO are really focused on more commoditized work; work that could be outsourced and little difference would be felt by the enterprise. These same “business” engineers may simply think that they can do the CIOs job better than the CIO can.

I have had the privilege of interviewing a vast number of CIOs of tech-centric companies like Google, HP, Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Netflix. I also recently spoke about this topic with Lee Congdon, CIO of Red Hat in 150th broadcast of the Forum on World Class IT. What these executives and others have mentioned as remedies to the traditional issues plaguing CIOs can be encapsulated in five lessons:

  1. Change your mindset from order taker to essential advisor
  2. Recognize the advantage of breadth
  3. Become customer one to the enterprise
  4. Develop a “semester abroad” program
  5. Develop ideas with financial impact

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