Reading in today's CIO Magazine - CIO's Must Become Technology Consultants. Interesting concept. Especially from the perspective of a Technology Consultant.
Don't get me wrong, CIO's traditionally have great IT skills, superior management techniques all designed to keep enterprise software, networks and projects supported and humming right along.
What they don't have is experience in multiple software programs that they aren't currently using.
What they don't see is how other companies are running innovative new programs to drive major change through organizations.
And granted, what they don't see are the failed attempts at trying to make technologies that 'sounded like a good idea' actually pay off.
As a full time technology consultant, you're hired to solve problems - address issues - analyze what's working and what's not - and once you understand the business issues, the real work begins.
Technology is a small industry. After you've been around the block 15 or 20 years, you begin to build a network - not out of any great wisdom or planning, it's just the mergers, acquisitions, hot technologies today that go under tomorrow - you meet a few people along the way.
So once you've understood the challenges a company is facing - you usually have a few ideas of who the likely software/integrator/technology vendors will be.
But that's just the start.
Often, you'll do a LinkedIn search to see who you know at the company (which can sometimes tell you quite a bit). Next, you look for which companies are listed on the logo page of the particular software vendor and find out who you know at those companies, and which consultants you know who've done projects at those companies - now you start to find out what's really happening.
You dig and you uncover - scraping away the marketing fluff and the sales hype. You cajole, needle, negotiate and work to create a partnership between vendor and client. Trade secret - as the technology consultant, you have a bit more pull with the vendors - because if THIS PROJECT works, the vendor knows you'll find another one, and another one - because there's nothing a technology consultant likes better than successful projects.
Anyway - not to run down CIO's or demean CIO's as Technology Consultants - it's a dynamite concept - working to create better systems for the entire company and a formula for continuous improvement. Full disclosure, if you search my blog history you'll find "Rent a CIO" from a time when I was working with several smaller companies as a part-time or temporary CIO - but I truly believe a CIO has to know his company better than anyone else, and a Technology Consultant has to know the tech market better than anyone else - somewhere in the middle, we all make money.
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Trends Fads Bubbles and Bashing. Take a couple hundred Geeks and give them typewriters, you'll never get Shakespeare, but what you will get is the Technology Press - here's where we sort it all out to see if there's any 'there' there.