As a CIO you’re expected to keep up with tech trends. In league with your company’s other senior executives, you need to make decisions about the network, storage, other infrastructure upgrades, and application changes that keeps operations on budget and in line with strategy. If nothing else, keeping up with the news out of the technology sector gives you a sense of your options.
And yet you might also do a little extra curricular reading.
This may sound heretical to this audience, but I am not a superfan of social networking. I don't need to know someone from my high-school class is cooking dinner, or watch it become a shrine to Michael Jackson's and Farrah Fawcett's lives. (Incidentally, does no one care about Ed McMahon?) Moreover, 90 percent of the people I've contacted who, according to LinkedIn, are somehow connected to someone I want to meet have never even heard of the person in question.
A new study out shows that a good portion of CEOs aren't using, or benefiting, from all the great social networking tools in play.
According to Reuters this morning, a study from UberCEO.com reveals that just two of today's top 100 company leaders are using some form of social networking and 81 percent didn't even have a Facebook page. Not one used a blog, and just 13 have a LinkedIn profile.
This past week saw nearly a half dozen new netbooks hit the market from leading players including HP and Toshiba, with nearly all under $500 and some great 'starter' options in the $300 range.
Vendors seem to be adjusting everything from battery options to displays to processing power to offer up the 'perfect' business accessory and alternative for lugging the laptop to every meeting and through every airport .
If, at conference, or during a telephone survey, you were to ask a senior executive if they wanted to run a smarter company, I’m sure very few would say “Not really.”
Nobody wants a less capable organization if there a way around the usual trade-offs posed by budgets, time constraints, and the competition. Hence, more talk than ever these days about fact-based decision making— which is pretty revered in management—and more efforts around data mining in an effort to learn more about operations, customers, and winning tactics.
There's an interesting (and rather amusingly written) article by Ade McCormack today on FT.com ("A call to arms for a 21st century CIO"). McCormack posits that more CIOs should serve on boards:
Whether the business focus is on driving out cost or squeezing more from customers' wallets, there will be very little progress unless new technologies are woven into tactics and strategy. Alternatively, the business can watch market share whittle away as young tech-savvy chief executives capitalise on technology trends and generation Y staff and customers. Having a strong CIO on board is critical.