CIO jobs are tough today and with the title above, no disrespect meant at all, but it’s the reality of IT Infrastructure we have today, it can be a brain drain by all means, lot of pressure. I spent some time talking last year to some high ranking CIOs and wrote about not burning them out. If you are outside the IT World this could news to you but the pressure and demands for CIOs in tech is huge. It’s a moving target with a new left hook thrown at your at least once a day if not more often.
CIO Confidence In Meaningful Use Drops-The New Left Curve of Technology That Arrives Daily Contributes-Don’t Burn These Folks Out
I have had a few emails and comments over the last few months that said “thanks” for bringing this to light, no joke here and straight forward, as they mean it and little recognition of this is made outside of the IT world, but it is real. Public CIOs too are nearing this point as well with the complicated IT infrastructures we deal with. It’s not easy being in that position with a pretty big digital illiterate crowd that we have today in Congress.
I write about that quite a bit here because its true and we have a big conglomeration of “non-participants” in the lawmaker category today and this extends beyond just Congress, take in state legislatures too. So many still live in the 70s. You can read the link below as see what I have heard from some CIOS and this does not mean they are not qualified to do the job, it’s just that the job and expectations and demands has changed so much that in some areas goals are created by “non participants” in technology that can’t be met, as they don’t get where we are today with the complexities.
I do a lot of listening. If I were him I would probably be doing the same thing in heading off to Harvard as at least there are many there who have a lot of wisdom and it could be far less stressful and he will have a better shot at perhaps some of his own personal goals for his career.
Below is a post from back in 2009 from a CIO who was full of himself and I bring attention to this post as the arrogance here is huge and this is what we hear from big insurer CIOS, kind of funny as he stated people like me make CIOs feel insecure about their jobs, never knew I had that kind of power, was pretty funny and someone just had to rant that day. He disputed my thoughts on the CIO needing some “tech” knowledge and ripped big time, but aha, look where we are today and turns out I was right back in 2008. What made the post even funnier was the fact that he tried to remain anonymous and my reports for the blog identified the network he connected with and I knew exactly what company he was from, so it proved that point all the way around. Again, it’s a post worth reading with a ton of arrogance from 2008 when we were talking about the looming CIO shortages.
Back on track here I think Mr. Kundra has done a good job and he has one of the toughest jobs around as in today’s world not matter what they do, CIOs have a hard time making anyone happy, not because they are not doing their job, but because most do not understand the realm of this position today and frustrations and witch hunts arise where they should not be. Here’s a good example of what we have to work with on the Hill today, side shows and soap operas that push aside laws and discussions that need to take place, so again for the National CIO a tough place to be and that probably applied for other Executives too. When budget cuts take place and high level meetings get over shadowed and you have folks like those who are a bit digital illiterate in the Senate cutting funds for cloud computing, well that’s what they did…the levels of digital literacy are shameful and out of focus. Shoot I think the President feels this too for that matter.
Digital Illiteracy Still Plagues Law Makers–Severe Focus on Abortion Rights Proves It–Is This Where Our Lawmaking Knowledge Leaves Off or Even Begins? Scary…
IBM Makes 'Watson' Servers Even Smarter With More Cores–We Are Now Graduating to Taking “Dull” Knives to Gun Battles–There’s No Great White Hope for Budgets
Do Some Think That Health IT Costs and Systems Grow On Trees-Certainly Starting To Give That Impression of Late
Companies and their executives have tried for years to break through the stymied representatives we have with no luck either, as it always goes back to the 70s. I have written about this many times and our folks who represent us had a good opportunity to bring in some new technology tools but did they even recognize this could help them do their job better, big flat no.
So in closing I wish Mr. Kundra the best of luck and appreciate the time that has been given to bring the US up to speed where he could as there was a lot done, but again I understand the human obstacles that could just make that job living hell at times too. We all need to have feelings of accomplishment and who ever comes next to take the job had their hands full with a lot of high expectations and hopefully some of those will be within goals that are fixated on reality. BD
When President Obama appointed Vivek Kundra as the first U.S. CIO, he said, "Vivek Kundra will bring a depth of experience in the technology arena and a commitment to lowering the cost of government operations to this position. As Chief Information Officer, he will play a key role in making sure our government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible."
When he began at the White House, he brought with him the promise of good ideas and a hard-charging style focused on getting things done, necessary qualities to tackle the difficult issues facing Federal IT – an aging infrastructure with rising operating costs, too many major projects failing to deliver, and increasing vulnerability to outside threats. Two and a half years after joining the Administration, Vivek has delivered on that promise. He has cracked down on wasteful IT spending, saved $3 billion in taxpayer dollars; moved the government to the cloud; strengthened the cybersecurity posture of the nation while making it more open, transparent, and participatory. His work has been replicated across the world from 16 countries that have deployed the data.gov model to tap into the ingenuity of their people to multiple countries that have deployed the IT dashboard to save money.