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Reality Check

Reality Check

Everyone's entitled to their opinion (well, unless you're a liberal of the US ilk being interviewed on Fox News). That said, there is the odd occasion where I find myself taking exception to the sentiments expressed or observations made by writers and columnists in this magazine. But diversity is the spice of life, so usually I keep my mouth shut and my fingers off the keyboard.

Not this time. Uh-uh. No way, Jose.

I'm referring to long-standing contributor Peter Hind's column "A CEO Speaks" on page 31, where he details a lengthy conversation with a Malaysian CEO about ICT and IT executives. I suggest you take a break now and read it. Then, take three deep breaths, get up from your desk, walk across your office, pick whatever you've thrown (hopefully just this magazine) and join me again.

(And now a musical interlude while we wait.)

Back now? How's the blood pressure? Yeah, mine spiked more than a few notches upwards, too. You just can't help but wonder why this kind of claptrap keeps seeing the light of day. So, in the spirit of CIOs everywhere I'm gonna say it. Earth to whingeing CEO: get a clue, you ignorant old dinosaur.

Mr CEO's whinge: ICT executives tend to "jump around" between jobs and show little loyalty. And, unlike sales and marketing, IT execs do not have to meet quota and sales targets to justify their high salaries.

Oh sure, we all know how loyal sales and marketing types are. The mere whiff of a better dollar sends them out of the door faster than you can say bonus. And, excuse me Mr CEO, since when did marketing become a revenue generator? Remember your Business 101 course? Marketing = Cost centre. Cost centre. Cost centre.

Mr CEO's whinge: The inability of ICT execs to communicate in the language of business.

Oh yawn. And yawn again. Sir, if this is the case in your company, you have nobody to blame but yourself, because you have hired the wrong person. Any IT exec, on your aforementioned "high salary" knows he or she had better be able to talk business-speak. And, you know, there's just no way to explain, say, the benefits of virtualization, in business terms - well, unless you're happy with something like: "It's the vibe."

Mr CEO's whinge: ICT employees are too conciliatory.

OK, this gets even better because our simpering CEO admits that many business execs don't know what they want (oh, and that's a revelation, for sure). And, gee these poor pitiful creatures make things worse for themselves by asking for everything and not recognizing what can - or can't - be done. Of course it's the CIO's fault for not disabusing them of the notion. Well, Mr Bottom-Line CEO, you can eliminate that problem quick smart by eliminating these five little words from the other execs' arsenal: "But it's in my budget."

I, for one, am fed up with corporate types saying IT doesn't integrate well with the business, when they view IT executives as overpaid, disloyal twits who - worst of all - cannot seem to read the business types' minds.

I think we really know where the problem lies.

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