The overlooked CIO problem: Getting the budget dollars they actually wanted

Don’t let the bold, multi-coloured bow tie distract you — Michael Cato is making an important point here.

In a recent vidoe clip produced by U.S. nonprofit organization Educause, the CIO of Vassar Collage takes a traditional view of enterprise IT leadership and flips it on its head. For example, while for years I’ve heard countless experts suggest it was ongoing failed projects that led to a disconnects between CIOs and the rest of the business, Cato suggests that it’s simply possible technology executives have been doing their jobs too well.

In other words, by getting budget to keep data centres from grinding to a halt, “we’ve convinced our institution and ourselves that these are our roles, and we’re not really a part of these other (business) areas,” he says.

Cato says his big priority right now is helping his team understand that they are being displaced by business units and vendors who try to do an end-run around the IT department. In that sense, this clip might be worth showing in your next staff meeting, whether you’re working in education or not. Do Cato’s comments ring true, and if so, how can your organization refocus to create the kind of perceptual change that may need to happen for IT to create ongoing value?


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Shane Schick
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