I recently worked at a really big shop where a new CIO (he was technical), met with the entire IT staff by groups. He said something like there were about 50-some different languages being used! They had mainframes, IBM I, Unix (serving Java I think), all different flavors of Microsoft (PC's, SQL servers, etc). They had SAP, Hyperion, J-Walk, others.... I think the situation caught up with the guy before him...
He was talking about consolidating already. I heard tentatively they were going to go all-dot-net or something. Ugh. Big ugh. I think they already had dozens of servers. A friend working in an all-Microsoft shop told me once dot-net was so scalable. Oh really? What about "load balancing"?.
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Stone, Joel
Sent: Friday, October 11, 2013 3:06 PM
Subject: RE: Top problems for CIOs, business value of IT?
Not much response to this one; not sure why.
None of my reply has to do with my current employer - I don't want to get in trouble with that! I am speaking in general and not about any one org.
From what I have seen, most CIOs are in a persistent CYA mode.
IT shops are in such a mess with multi-platform, multi-language. Consultants and BAs and developers coming and going. Supporting 500 to 1000 apps in a fortune500 company seems the norm, not the exception. It seems humanly impossible to support such a mix with efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
So CIOs are jumping from one issue-of-the-year to the next, never able to address the "root cause" and make things right.
They are always looking for that "silver bullet" to fix everything (which doesn't seem to exist). Whether it's a whiz-bang do-it-all ERP, new OS, exec dashboard, whatever.
Look at the large failures in the press over that past few years: Hersheys with SAP, the FBI and FAA with their proprietary re-write debacles. It seems that almost every shop is in a similar situation, albeit with no press to air the dirty laundry.
It appears to me from a simple-minded anecdotal view that companies with a tech-oriented CIO fare much better (developer background). For example, Microsoft did amazingly well under Bill Gates - a techie. When they put in a lawyer, the company floundered. Same with Apple, and I am thinking same with non-tech companies like most of ours.
Problem is, most CEOs don't think a techie is good in the CIO spot, in fact they seem to abhor the thought. So they put in an MBA-type and that's when things seem to go south.
So non-tech CIOs are trying to solve tech issues without a tech background of any sort.
So the CIO's concentrate on metrics, KPIs, other stuff that will look great until there is so much water in the hull that the ship is heavy and sinking. Cause they don't know and cant dig into the root causes due to their lack of tech knowledge & experience.
So in a nutshell, the only issues that they are looking at are strategic. But an org cant deal with strategic issues until the foundation is set with solid technical details.
Just my 2 cents.
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of BT Consulting
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:58 AM
Subject: Top problems for CIOs, business value of IT?
I know this is mostly a technical site, but what are the top problems bugging CIOs, especially with respect to IT and the main business? Looking for strategic concerns/problems they are trying to solve. While I know this is an iSeries-centric site, I'd like feedback from those folks that are in/around shops that have multiple platforms as well. Are CIOs still dealing with the business value of IT or are they mainly focused on technical problems; I hope they are thinking more strategic. Any questions on what I'm talking about, please ask.
Casa Grande, AZ
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