Gartner Summit: CIOs need to go out and win business

CIOs should have IT budgets taken away from them and "only eat what they kill", according to boardroom advisor Ade McCormack.

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CIOs should have IT budgets taken away from them and "only eat what they kill", according to boardroom advisor Ade McCormack.

"The budget is like a charity, and if you have to rely on budget, you're not really empowered," said McCormack, a columnist for the Financial Times and author of 'The IT Value Stack'.

Instead McCormack advised CIOs to surrender their budget and then operate on a 'eat what they kill' basis. Speaking at the Gartner Outsourcing & IT services Summit in London, McCormack told CIOs to go out, win business and compete in the wider market place.

"Most CIOs are hermetically sealed in the company. If released into the wild one day, it would be a shock. But if we ate what we killed, we would have a lot more money. We would make the money that we spend."

If CIOs rely on budgets, he said, they are more vulnerable because it's very easy for management to just cut the expenditure.

McCormack added that it's up to IT vendors to help get CIOs into the boardroom, and focus on becoming a trusted advisor rather than hitting sales targets.

The relationship between vendor and the CIO needs to be equal, he said. If the vendor is too strong, the CIO could become a "puppet", which in turn brings about their demise.

"The CIO becomes your chief sales officer, they represent you in the boardroom. If the CIO is too disempowered, they will get fired, and you [the IT vendor] are back at square one," said McCormack.

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