Hail to the Chiefs

Hail to the Chiefs

It wasn't always about the CIO.

As a CIO today you are the winning jockey on Melbourne Cup day, the best looking girl at the dance, the lottery winner walking into the bar at the club. Yes, everyone in IT land wants to know you now - but that wasn't always the case.

About 12 years ago we started a business magazine about IT managers. We called it Profit (I think Titanic was already taken) and in giving it that name quickly learned one of publishing's unwritten rules governing bad karma. Profit started losing money early, and those losses just kept on coming.

Profit couldn't shake free of Paul Keating's had-to-have recession, but it did prove there was a great interest among IT leaders in the business issues their peers were addressing. Imitators soon followed. (We'd accuse them of copying us, except that in truth we launched Profit by doing a local adaptation of a publication started by our colleagues in the US a few years earlier. It was called CIO.)That forced hiatus probably did us a world of good. By the time we had recharged our batteries to once again create a business magazine for IT executives, plenty had changed.

For one thing, the market was full of publications addressing the information needs of the MIS department. We had Computerworld and its supplement IT Casebook. Others published various newspapers and magazines dedicated to keeping the MIS manager up to speed.

But no one, it seemed, had fully twigged to what was happening in corporate Australia. Chief information officers were showing up. Not a lot at first, to be sure, and not always using that title. Still, they were showing up and, most importantly, CIO was not just the next fancy name for the MIS manager - the gift you give someone when you don't give cash.

In fact, in about a third of the cases the CIO wasn't even coming from the IT side of the house. It's become trite and predictable to say that IT managers' chief concern is aligning IT with the business. But with the creation of true CIO positions, corporate Australia had already signalled its intent to do precisely that.

So it was that CIO magazine was launched five years ago into the new corporate environment in Australia. Since that time, CIO has redefined the business landscape by listening to you, writing for you and moving with you. It has twice been named the Business Publication of the Year by the Australian Business Publishers Association and has won more awards for publishing excellence than any other title in the nation.

Perhaps our biggest high, however, came in late 2000 when independent research firm Quadrant Research Services asked senior IT executives which publication they would choose if they could only read one. Your choice was CIO.

Please excuse the navel gazing, but our fifth anniversary brings it out in me. You see, it wasn't always about CIO magazine, either. But now we feel like the winning jockey on Melbourne Cup day, the best looking girl at the dance, the lottery winner walking into the bar at the club.

Thanks for that.

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