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.
Praise for The CIO Paradox
In The CIO Paradox, Martha Heller has clearly articulated the many contradictions that permeate the CIO role. But more than that, she includes rich examples of how successful CIOs have managed to break through these contradictions. IT leadership is a balancing act, as Heller demonstrates in this entertaining and insightful book.
VP & CIO, Bechtel Corporation
Martha does a great job of capturing the paradox of not just the CIO role, but of Enterprise IT as a whole. In a world that greatly admires technology and over-rewards the start-up, how is the brand of the enterprise CIO and the technology teams that support our business so weak? As a CIO that has survived this paradox for more than a decade, I appreciate the insights of The CIO Paradox.
Robert B. Carter
EVP & CIO, FedEx Corporation
Martha Heller has captured the essence of the exhilaration and the stress that come with being a CIO in the 21st century. In The CIO Paradox, she has articulated the complex and critical set of issues that confront CIOs every day, in every enterprise, in a witty and constructive way. Having lived the CIO role over four different decades, I was able to relate to her paradoxes and her conclusions: that to be successful in this young and great profession you must move from being an either, or manager to an and, and leader. It will be exciting to see more and more of our next generation leaders break through these paradoxes.
Founder, The Feld Group Institute, and author of Blind Spot IT: A Leader’s Guide To IT-Enabled Business Transformation