5 things you should never say to your CIO

These are some things you might feel tempted to say, some you might even on occasion have actually said, but trust me, these are things you should never say to your CIO – even if you are a Board Director yourself!

1.  I’m having trouble with my email/laptop/phone… can you fix it for me?
Your CIO is not a one-person technical support service.  He or she does not attend Board meetings in order to sort out your personal technology issues. He’s there to work on the business strategy – aren’t you?

2.  I’ve forgotten my password… again
Let’s get something straight. Your password is your responsibility. People who continually forget their passwords are the bane of any IT Support team. It’s not funny. It’s not endearing. It’s a demonstration that you can’t be trusted with their precious technology. The CIO is tired of the Help Desk grumbling about unknown people who keep on needing their passwords re-set. Keep your head down…

3.  Why is it taking so long? I can download a new app onto my pc at home in less than an hour…
Your pc at home is under your control. Your pc at work is not. Had you forgotten that? Well I suppose if you can forget your password you can forget anything. That shiny new app you want for your team has to be checked out – we don’t want to crash the whole network do we? It also might be way down the priority list compared to other ‘business critical’ updates, innovations and installations.  Organisation-wide technology is a complex beast – that’s why we have Enterprise Architects. (What do you mean you’ve never heard of them?)

4.  If your guys can’t do it this month I know a company who will take it on.
Nooooooo! Every IT department has a constant battle to keep control of the technology being used.  And the suppliers. You may think it’s no big deal to bring in your personal contacts to run up a few web pages or install a new CRM programme, but to your CIO it’s a nightmare. What if your external supplier hacks into something he shouldn’t? What if the new installation conflicts with another app? What if the whole network goes down? On second thoughts, perhaps you should say it, and then he’ll know who to keep an eye on!

5.  Any reference to those ‘geeks and freaks’ in the IT department.
They may seem like geeks and freaks to you, but they’re the CIO’s own geeks and freaks and he loves them. Furthermore, it’s likely he used to be one of them. And if you stop to actually speak to any of them you’ll probably discover that they’re not freaks at all. They’re just cleverer than the rest of us – and quieter. They don’t need a bomb putting under them. They don’t need to ‘get out more’. They just need some well-earned respect for keeping us all provided with the vital technology to do our jobs.

…and for enabling you to read my on-line blog!

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