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Top five rookie CIO mistakes

In an article published April 13, Todd McGregor, managing director of Forrester Middle East, laid out his “Top five CIO mistakes.”

Here’s an abbreviated list:

  1.  Conflicting culture and structure.
  2. A management style that conflicts with IT goals.
  3. Metrics that don’t support the direction of IT.
  4. Weakened strategic functions.
  5. Overly fragmented functional groups.

 (To see the full list, check out McGregor’s article with his explanations and examples.)

Far be it from me to pick a bone with a Forrester analyst — especially a managing director — but that list seems a little simplistic. It could be that he’s addressing enterprise CIOs as opposed to CIOs in the midmarket, but it seems like each of those mistakes boils down to simple management flaws.

It could be a function of being too far removed from the IT department itself, but, really? Metrics that don’t support the direction of IT? Someone who is in charge of managing and directing technology for a company doesn’t know which metrics should be pulled and what data needs to be analyzed? I’m sure that is a top mistake for a CIO — assuming they’re making that mistake at all. C-level employees reach that position for a reason, and while employees might think that most CIOs are clueless when it comes to daily operations, being that far out of touch should be grounds for firing.

Look, McGregor does make some salient points about the general strategies that CIOs should use while running their departments. They just strike me as a little obvious. Feel free to disagree.

In the meanwhile, I’d like to humbly submit my top five rookie CIO mistakes.

  1. Not wearing pants to work.
  2. Parking in the CEO’s spot –this is still IT, after all.
  3. Telling the facility manager he “missed a spot.”
  4. Ordering the tuna salad with extra pickles in the cafeteria.
  5. Contracting Rent-A-Center to redesign the data center.

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