Tragic Flaws: Why CIOs Fail

In the new CIO or chief technology officer role, technologists are more likely to fail than strategists, says a new study from Giga Information Group.

Peter McAteer, an analyst at the Stamford, Conn.-based consultancy said technologists who fail have much in common:

-- They overmanage. "They feel they know all the answers,"said McAteer.

-- "They are not good at making strategic decisions," he said. "CEOs talking about them say, ‘He kept talking technology, not profitability of the business.'"-- They are inflexible. "They are unable to adapt to working for a new boss," he said.

-- They don't spend time developing their management skills.

McAteer said strategist CIOs fail for the same reasons that CEOs fail:

-- They don't have a broad enough vision of their business.

-- They get bogged down in technical issues.

-- They're arrogant. "You see this a lot in external consultants," said McAteer. It's somewhat a matter of perception, he added. "If you're successful enough, it's seen as self-confidence."

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