The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership

The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership


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Regardless of industry, most major companies are becoming technology companies. The successful management of information has become so critical to a company's goals, that in many ways, now is the age of the CIO. Yet IT executives are besieged by a host of contradictions: bad technology can bring a company to its knees, but corporate boards rarely employ CIOs; CIOs must keep costs down at the very same time that they drive innovation. CIOs are focused on the future, while they are tethered by technology decisions made in the past. These contradictions form what Martha Heller calls The CIO Paradox, a set of conflicting forces that are deeply embedded in governance, staffing, executive expectations, and even corporate culture. Heller, who has spent more than 12 years working with the CIO community, offers guidance to CIOs on how to attack, reverse, or neutralize the paradoxical elements of the CIO role. Through interviews with a wide array of successful CIOs, The CIO Paradox helps readers level the playing field for IT success and get one step closer to bringing maximum value to their companies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937134273
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/16/2012
Pages: 260
Sales rank: 870,732
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Martha Heller is one of the most widely followed voices on IT leadership and the role of the CIO. She has been a CIO magazine columnist since 1999, and is also the author of Be the Business: CIOs in the New Era of IT (Bibliomotion, 2016).

Martha is president of Heller Search Associates, an executive recruiting firm that specializes in IT leadership positions nationwide across all industries. She has spent 15 years working with the CIO community at the highest levels. Based on this experience and extensive interviews, outreach, and her work as an executive recruiter, Martha has distilled empirically backed insights into what it takes today to be an IT executive capable of driving transformation.

In 2004, Martha founded the CIO Executive Council, CIO magazine’s professional organization for CIOs. In addition to her blog on, Martha engages extensively with the technology executive community through social media and her widely read e-newsletter, “The Heller Report.”

Martha is a highly sought after public speaker, regularly addressing and engaging with members of the IT profession at executive events held by The Research Board, the National Retail Federation, the Technology Business Management Council, Forrester, Harvard University, MIT, CIO magazine, ServiceNow, Box, and Cisco.

Maryfran Johnson Award-winning IT journalist and editorial executive, Editor-in-Chief of CIO magazine.

Table of Contents

Introduction What Is the CIO Paradox? xix

Part I Your Role: You're Damned if You Do and You're Damned if You Don't

1 The Cost versus Innovation Paradox 3

2 The Operations versus Strategy Paradox 23

3 The Global Paradox 41

Part II Your Stakeholders: Will the Business Ever Love It?

4 The Futurist versus Archivist Paradox 55

5 The "IT and the Business" Paradox 73

6 The Accountability versus Ownership Paradox 99

Part III Your Staff: They Just Don't Make Them Like That

7 The Recruiting Paradox 115

8 The Enterprise Architecture Paradox 127

9 The Successor Paradox 141

Part IV Your Future: What's Next for the Cio?

10 The Corporate Board Paradox 161

11 The CIO Career Path Paradox 179

12 The Future of the CIO Role 195

Conclusion Breaking the Paradox 205

Endnotes 221

Index 223

About the Author 233

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