Consultants and the CIO

This is a short one….lots going on this week.

I got a lot of great feedback on a post I wrote titled “Consultants – Do we need them?“.  In that post I argue that consultants are necessary…not a necessary evil mind-you…but a necessity for modern day IT organizations.

One of the lines of that struck a chord with most folks was:

That’s exactly what any good consultant should do….help the organization understand how to change to adapt to new realities.

What do I mean by that?

Modern day IT is not the same as IT from 20 years ago…or even IT from 5 years ago.  Every CIO has to adjust to the new reality of IT of today and the future.

I believe that 99.9% of CIO’s in this world cannot adapt to the new IT reality without some assistance from experts who understand the new IT realities. I don’t say the above to be hateful.  I think the majority of the CIO’s today are extremely bright and they ‘get’ their current reality but these same smart CIO’s are much too close to their current reality to fully understand what needs to occur to be prepared for the future.

Bringing in the right consultant is key for moving from today’s reality to tomorrow’s.  Find a consultant focused on delivering value to you (rather than selling a technology platform) and you’ll be golden.

The New CIO is a weekly article about the challenges facing today’s CIO as well as what can be done to prepare for future challenges. Join me next week for another article in the series.

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Supercapitalism, written by Robert Reich, is an amazing book and should be read by every single American citizen.

The book is a historical look at American Capitalism and Democracy and how they’ve been intertwined and even how they’ve diverged in recent years.  This divergence, Reich argues, is due to Supercapitalism.

What does this mean?  It means that this country has moved past a mixture of democracy and capitalism into a new era of greed. Consumers love the cheap prices we find online and in discount stores but we get angry when jobs are sent overseas.  Investors love the high returns that stocks have provided to us but we get upset when the companies we invest in cut costs be laying off there staff.

Has anyone stopped to realize that the reason these jobs are going overseas is because we (as consumers) demand cheaper prices and we (as investors) are demanding higher returns?

There is a lot of information in this book and much of it has opened my eyes to what Capitalism and Democracy in America used to mean….and what it means today.

This is a great book that everyone should read.  For a much more detailed review of this book, take a look at Lawrence Lessig’s review of this book over on his blog.

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