Nontechie CIOs: translators or meddlers?

Nontech CIOs are all the rage these days. Is that good or bad for IT?

On the organizational chart between IT director "Ray Walton" and his CIO is a vice president of IT whom Walton considers dangerous.

Why? Because that VP came from finance. He's not technical, and worse, he maintains a financial mindset. "In his mind, everything in technology can be reduced to dollars and time," says Walton, who, to protect his job, asked that his real name not be used.

Walton angrily maintains that this finance-first attitude works only when everything is a commodity, which hasn't yet come to pass in technology. "It's still an art to determine risk and rewards in IT. If you only look at ROI, you'll never build a network, because it's infrastructure. There is no 'payback.'"

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