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Should CIOs Play Down IT Part of the Job?

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We've blogged several times in the recent past about CIOs' struggle to remain relevant in a fast-changing business environment. We've noted a number of worrisome trends that suggest that the image of the CIO, at least in some sectors, appears to be suffering.

 

And now we have reports of Gartner Fellow Andy Kyte warning attendees of a recent symposium in Sydney not to tell folks they work in IT. Ouch.

 

Though this sounds unnecessarily harsh, Kyte's larger point is a good one. According to Computerworld New Zealand, he says:

 

 

 

When asked what you do for a living, do not say 'IT'; instead say 'I'm in retail banking and I'm responsible for IT'. None of us are in the business of IT. We are in transportation, manufacturing, government; you are all simply in business.

Like other experts, Kyte says that CIOs must strive to make IT less about operations and more about innovation. He also cautions CIOs to think long and hard about additional complexity when considering new technologies such as virtualization.

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