When I sat down to write this, I referred to a statement given by a friend "Supporting Tamy's family if he loses job; Boss, this is fully insured. Pssst..... He has been saying this since 1999. Tamy, we will take care of that. (Is this the old persecution mania taking over our minds?)"
That got me thinking, how important is a CIO's job today?
Why would someone need people like us anymore?
If I go back some years probably there was IT infrastructure and there was SAP or Oracle or another ERP or development work, which was being rolled out in a company. Not many understood it really and they needed someone who could hold it aloft for the organization. That was the 'IT Team' for them.
I met one of my CIO friends in a bus ride down Goa and he said, "You know, my CEO buys new gadgets by the numbers and tries every application possible on earth off it. If the application doesn't work he needs me and is unhappy if I have no idea of it." I exclaimed! "How dangerous! How do you retain your job." And we had a hearty laugh.
But to think of it when our kids do it to us we just shrug that off. Can't do that to our CEO, can we? Imagine being in Infosys or IBM and being the CIO there? So many people around who know so much more about technology and implications. Can someone else eat the CIO up? Well, with a pause, as I think, probably yes. But those soldiers still survive, last many years mostly.
So, I think a new dimension of skill set that we bring is the applicability of a technology in the business, exactly where it is required and excitable. That skill, not many non-CIOs possess. We have been continuously going through the rut of productivity improvement, which means we are gearing for a zero touch flow systems/processes everyday, reduce people get more automation in and what not! We are specialists in organizing the IT team in a way that it reaches the center as well as the periphery seamlessly. That not many can take away from us.
So, in short, our jobs are safe if we follow our heart and do what we are best at doing and not try and ape technologists around dabbling with the plethora of technical wonders around us. It may be good to have but our native skill set is even better to hold on...