by Mike Masnick
Thu, Apr 24th 2008 9:57pm
Information Week is running an article about the difficulty some CIOs are having with the fact that just about everyone is at least somewhat tech savvy these days -- often just enough to be dangerous. Combine that with the rise of online software in the "Enterprise 2.0" realm and the ability for technology to bubble up rather than come from the top down, and CIOs are finding that their job is changing in ways that they didn't fully expect. Some certainly don't see it as a problem, just a different kind of challenge, but it definitely seems like the very role of the CIO needs to change in some significant ways. Rather than managing all of the technology infrastructure of a company, they're going to have to figure out a way to focus more on enabling other parts of the organization to use technology effectively and efficiently. Obviously, letting individuals or even individual groups in the company set their own tech policy can lead to some problems, but it also opens up the ability for more creativity and new types of communication and apps to bubble up in a more useful manner. This reminds me of a post by Chris Anderson over a year ago. When he was asked to speak to a group of CIOs, he was amazed at how scared they appeared to be by modern technology, rather than energized. There was fear, he noted, that the position of the CIO could soon be extinct. If they're not willing to recognize how the world is changing, then perhaps that's appropriate, but there's no reason why a modern CIO can't focus on the enabling side, rather than the "lock everything down" view of the world.
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