IT Must Get Down to Business

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2003-06-02 Print this article Print

The average CIO holds that position for 18 months but has to project at least six months further into the future.

The average CIO holds that position for 18 months but has to project at least six months further into the future, observed BMC Software CIO Jay Gardner during remarks at the GigaWorld IT Forum, held last month in Phoenix.

"In January, I was 17 months into the job, and I started to worry," Gardner recalled, "because there were so many issues on my plate. ... I realized that I cant do it all." He offered attendees at his session the resulting list of key issues and tasks for IT governance.

Gardners list begins at the top of the organization, he said, with strategic imperatives that have to come from the corporate level. The IT department has to take that lead and act as part of the business, Gardner said, and not leave it up to the business units to figure out how to use ITs capabilities.

The challenge in the current environment, said Gardner, is balancing short-term pressures with long-term technology cycles. "My CEO, when he thinks about IT, asks, What are they doing for us? And wants us to do more with less," he said.

At the same time, Gardner urged listeners to keep asking, "Are we building today what we need two years from now?"

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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