by Gary Beach

IT Means Business

Mar 29, 20072 mins
IT Leadership

I recently attended IDC’s 42nd annual Directions conference in San Jose, Calif., an event where the world leader in information technology market research (and a CIO sister company) showcases it predictions for the coming years. One of the more interesting sessions I attended was titled “CXO Priorities.”

A major finding of the research was that the nomenclature for “IT” and “CIO” is morphing into something very different. And although I am publisher of an IT magazine called CIO, I have to agree.

According to the report, all IT initiatives should (and will) become business initiatives, and the role of the CIO is evolving quickly into a business executive role—which is something we’ve always talked a lot about in the pages of CIO and on But now we’ve reached the point where all the talk will become reality.

To reflect that reality, perhaps we should ditch the name IT exec in favor of IB (information business) exec, or possibly BT (business technology) exec.

And what does business encompass right now? The IDC study identifies eight primary drivers and issues. For technology executives to become business executives, they need to have a firm handle on resources (both fiscal and human); they must understand compliance; the ability to assess risk is next, followed by being skilled at cost control. One’s ability to improve time to market is just ahead of understanding the ramifications of globalization and understanding customer expectations. Comprehending the competitive nature of the business (including industry consolidation) concludes the list.

How skilled are you in those eight business areas? Do they excite your passion? If they do, you have a bright future in this business no matter what your title. If they don’t, it’s time for you to move on.