by Gary Beach

Nine Lessons Learned From Listening to CIOs

Oct 01, 20062 mins
IT Leadership

I recently attended the 19th annual CIO 100 Symposium, where we honored the top CIOs in the country. Here’s what I learned from them. (And for more lessons learned from the CIO 100, go to

• Mobile, shmobile. Only one in 10 enterprise workers has access to e-mail on a BlackBerry or Palm Treo, and even fewer can access business apps on those devices. Conclusion: There’s huge growth potential in the enterprise mobility market.

• Communication, communication and more communication, among all levels of your IT staff, is critical to delivering innovative solutions. Regulatory and legal issues are the biggest external roadblocks to innovation, while unsupportive corporate cultures and inadequate funding constitute the main internal speed bumps.

• Training end users—initially and continually—is the most important thing

a CIO can do when rolling out an innovative application.

• If you want to be innovative, you gotta embrace your failures and accidents.

• Don’t even try to stop the tsunami of consumer devices entering your infrastructure. It’s a losing battle. In fact, it’s already been lost. (But put Skype at the

top of your public enemies list.)

• Saving money (“the whole mess for less”) is absolutely the worst reason

to outsource. You outsource to grow your business the right way.

• Vendors do not sell service-oriented architecture solutions; CIOs

must buy them.

• The CIO’s future role will morph into the CEO’s present job.

• My biggest lesson? Realizing how much I didn’t know!