The case against the ‘business-savvy CIO’

Being business-savvy isn’t a radical recommendation. It’s clichéd. These days, tech know-how and business smarts are inseparable when it comes to transformational CIOs.

The case against the ‘business-savvy CIO’
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Surely you saw the article. It’s the one that says CIOs should be business people, not technical people.

I’m pretty sure it’s the same article, printed over and over again with minor variations, rephrasings, changes of emphasis, and different bylines since I first read it in 1995, maybe earlier.

It’s time to put a stop to the reappearances. In case its absurdity isn’t obvious, replace the “I” with any other capitalized executive middle letter and see where the logic takes you: CFOs should, according to this logic, be business people, not financial people; COOs should be business people, not operations people; CMOs should be business people whose knowledge of marketing is optional.

And now we have CDOs (chief digital officers). By the same logic they, presumably, should be business people and not digital people, assuming, that is, that “digital people” means experts in digital stuff and not cyborgs or androids.

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