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Staying the Course as a CIO: How to Overcome the Trials and Challenges of IT Leadership

Book Description


The shelf-life of a Chief Information Officer can be shockingly short. Few survive in post for more than a few years. More often each falls prey to insurmountable problems and their careers come to a sharp and ignominious end. In this book, a global CIO with over thirty years of experience in major corporations examines the main reasons why this happens. Readers will understand which types of issue can cause problems for an IT Leader and more importantly, they will learn strategies of how these problems can be minimized or even avoided.

IT is often seen a technical backwater, but it is a discipline which has the capability to add massive value to an organisation whether it is in the private or the public sector - provided of course it has the right leadership doing the right things.

Aspiring IT Leaders will need to deal with a common set of recurring trials and challenges. These include:

  • Overcoming the challenge of managing diverse and conflicting stakeholders

  • How to deal with large and complex projects

  • Making sense of software and how to handle the rapidly changing technology landscape

  • Knowing when to outsource and how to get the best out of an outsourcing partner

  • Harnessing the intellectual power of consultants to help you meet your goals

  • And last but not least, how to develop a set of strategies that are aligned with your corporate goals and then make sure your resources are properly targetted so that the IT function generates maximum positive impact for the enterprise.

  • For IT professionals looking to fully integrate their function into the enterprise, 'Staying the Course as a CIO' is a valuable source of practical advice, all based on real experience.

    Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 1: Dislocated Stakeholders
      1. Wooden Poles with Holder
      2. Because They're Worth It?
      3. The Joys of Middle Management
      4. The View from the Top of the Tree
      5. Bored Boards
      6. The Relationship Conundrum
      7. Could I Have Something Impossible Please?
      8. Notes
    3. Chapter 2: Pathogenic Projects
      1. IT Projects are Harder than Climbing Everest
      2. Not Everyone Gets to be a Pharaoh
      3. Don't Start Anything You Can't Finish
      4. Stalinist Project Management
      5. Being Nostradamus
      6. My Piece of String is Skewed
      7. The Gates of Wrath
      8. Looking Up from the Pit
      9. Notes
    4. Chapter 3: Seriously Shaky Software
      1. Software Just Doesn't Wo..
      2. Being Immune to Tangerines
      3. The Unfortunate Side-Effect of Moore's Law
      4. Patched, Leaking and Lost in a Maze
      5. The Wobbly Stack
      6. Stabilising Shakiness
    5. Chapter 4: Obsessive Outsourcing Compulsion
      1. Outsourcing an Empire
      2. Strains of Outsourcing Compulsion
      3. Finance is not about Engineering Anything
      4. Faster than a Speeding Bullet …
      5. Everyone Needs to Win
      6. In Summary
    6. Chapter 5: Chronic Consultancy Syndrome
      1. Consultants—The Hummingbirds of the IT Jungle
      2. Spotting Hummingbirds in the Wild
      3. An Expensive Dose of Aviary Assistance
      4. What Consulting Isn't …?
      5. But What Consulting Perhaps Should Be?
      6. How Hummingbirds Turn into Cuckoos
      7. And Finally
      8. Notes
    7. Chapter 6: Strategy Schizophrenia
      1. Types of Strategy
      2. Strategy Schizophrenia—Balancing the Unbalanceable
      3. Summary
      4. Note
    8. Chapter 7: Bleeding Budgets
      1. A Beginner's Guide to Building a Roulette Table
      2. Putting Today and Tomorrow's Investments Together
      3. Putting the Final Touches to the Roulette Table
      4. Other Funding Profile Examples
      5. Summary
    9. Chapter 8: Epilogue—What Might Overcome You?
      1. It's Always the Same Culprits, Except When it Isn't
      2. Failure and Folklore
      3. IT Leadership Morbidity Tables
      4. The Unknown Unknowns
    10. Acknowledgements
    11. Bibliography
    12. Index
    13. End User License Agreement