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Sat 23 Dec 2006 04:00 AM

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Cultivate next generation of IT leaders, CIOs urged

Gartner spells out criteria for future management

Identifying the next-generation of IT leaders is just one of the things CIOs need to be doing in 2007, according to analyst firm Gartner.

As the baby boomer generation retires, selecting and cultivating the people who will fill their shoes should be a key priority for CIOs, the analyst firm said — one that may not be an easy task.

“Don’t assume the next generation of IT leadership should look the same as the last,” warned Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner fellow.

“Identify your best generation- X people — born in the 60s and 70s — then start giving them challenging projects and operational responsibilities to complete their experience. Bear in mind that future IT management will need skill traits more common amongst women, people with experience from multiple disciplines, business skills and proven change management success,” he added.

CIOs should also take greater responsibility for their contribution to the environment, Gartner said, such as tracking the impact of their IT systems.

“CIOs need to make sure they get their own house in order by setting targets for IT’s contribution to electrical efficiency, recycling, travel reduction and equipment lifecycle management,” said John Mahoney, vice president at Gartner.

“They should also add environmental sustainability to their list of equipment, services and vendor selection criteria.”

Gartner made the suggestions as part of its annual CIO New Year resolutions aimed at helping CIOs to evaluate and improve their efficiency.

“2007 will see mounting demand for business growth and agility, rapid development of consumer technology and increasing availability of new infrastructure tools, at the same time as the evolution of the IT organisation continues to pick up pace,” Mahoney said, adding that this will require CIOs to have a ‘fairly ambitious’ list of resolutions.

Swapping the CIO’s chair for a frontline role is another thing CIOs should be thinking about, according to Gartner.

Experiencing the daily realities of how the business operates can give CIOs powerful insights on issues like system utilisation and change management priorities, the analyst firm said.

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