When you boil it down, a CIO\u2019s job is fundamentally about making technology work for the business. At the heart of this charter is making sure suppliers and the organization\u2019s own development teams deliver what the business needs.These two goals are achieved by very different means. Getting what you need from vendors starts with picking the right ones in the first place. While the due diligence process may seem too costly and time-consuming to some IT executives, the consequences of not fully vetting key vendors before you commit to their products can cripple your operations and cost a whole lot more?including your job. This up-front assessment and the subsequent contract you negotiate are insurance against getting left in the lurch. Still, some people simply don\u2019t believe in insurance. And CIOs who have come up through technology may not have a lot of patience for the process?until that first major failure. Before that day comes, read "Do Diligence," by Senior Writer Meridith Levinson (beginning on Page 64), and learn why it\u2019s so important to scrutinize your vendors?and how to do it right. Delivering on internal projects requires a completely different set of competencies and activities. It\u2019s all about project management and development practices, and in the 35 years people have been developing software systems, things haven\u2019t improved much. That has to do in part with the debate over whether programming is art or science and the attempts to apply strict engineering disciplines to software development (it doesn\u2019t work). It has to do with the fact that many previous methodologies, smart as they are, are difficult to carry out. What\u2019s needed?and what has arrived?is a simpler approach based on the same fundamentals we\u2019ve know about since the late \u201960s but have somehow been unable to live up to. It\u2019s called Agile Development, and it and its many cousins cut to the chase and offer prescriptions that work if you work them?sort of a 12-step program (well, it\u2019s actually six) for coding your way to a better future. Senior Writer Scott Berinato tells you what it\u2019s all about in "The Secret to Software Success," beginning on Page 76.Sure, there\u2019s more to the CIO\u2019s job than getting what you need from vendors and delivering projects to spec on time and within budget, but without those two fundamentals the rest of it doesn\u2019t really matter a whole lot.