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12/5/2009
08:25 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO: The Top 50 Tech Quotes From 2009

What were the most-memorable, confrontational, insightful, and valuable comments in 2009? We've pulled together 50 of the best.

I can confidently say that most of us will not be sorry to say farewell to 2009, a year of bitter struggles, some retrenchment, and some very ugly reality checks. But it was also a year, I think, in which the CIO profession went through a bit of spurt evolution in throwing off a lot of the traditional restraints that have kept CIOs and their IT teams isolated, passive, and far from expressing their full potential. And most folks I talk to are expecting 2010 to be a significant improvement.

And like most years, 2009 was a year filled with opinions and ideas, comments and wisecracks—some more wise than others, to be sure. So we at Global CIO have tried to capture some of the essence of the past year via a series of 50 memorable quotations from the tech business, highlighting some of the key developments that shaped this tumultuous period. We hope this gives you some things to think about, some fresh perspectives on where we've been, some ideas about where we're headed, and maybe a laugh or two.

Listed in chronological order, these top 50 soundbites will be rolled out in two parts: 1-25 today, and 26-50 tomorrow. For anyone interested in digging into some of these comments and the larger stories they represent, we've got links for each to the full articles, most of which take the shape of Global CIO columns and blogs.

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

If anyone's got any questions or would like more information about any of our Top 50 Tech Quotes for 2009, please feel free to drop me a note at [email protected], and feel free to send in your nominations as well.

January 17: Management consultant Ram Charan on CIO priorities amid an economic downturn: "You have to look at your budgets in three buckets: First, the utility, keep the lights on, keep the computers working. Two is compliance. There will be more regulation. Do the benchmarking, be more efficient, try to standardize. Third is the discretionary projects. The thing I want to caution every CIO about: What criteria you were using in the fall of 2008 to call something transformational may have become irrelevant."

From Ram Charan On The CIO's Role

**

Feb. 1: Former Chase CIO Denis O'Leary on what he thinks the first priority of the newly appointed federal CIO should be: "The core architecture of government services needs to be remodeled as essentially 'self-serve.' Instead, we have a hairball of convoluted systems with a One or Two Sigma model, enormous labor costs, and horrific response time. While there are steps heading in this direction (see the N.Y. State Motor Vehicle Department site), they are one-offs without an underlying architecture. Consider each American getting their own government Web page or URL . . . . "

From Tech Leaders' Advice To The Federal CIO

**

Feb 14: And when asked what in the world she was thinking when she decided 13 months ago to jump into California's wildly disconnected and out-of-control IT circus as the state's first CIO, [Teri Takai] lets loose a first-rate belly laugh and says, "You know, to tell you the truth, there are some days when I wonder that myself!"

(Same column:) A CIO colleague on California's first state-wide CIO, Teri Takai: "She's the bravest woman -- well, man or woman -- on the planet."

From Disaster Recovery: Can California CIO Defy Odds And Fix State's IT Mess?

**

Feb. 21: Why would a global executive-search firm say that "few IT executives have the business qualifications or capitalist's killer instinct for making money"?

(Same column:) Why would CIO magazine's Web site—ostensibly in business to enlighten CIOs—make the irresponsible and preposterous claim that the only way each and every one of you became a CIO was through political scheming, back-stabbing, and "butt-kissing"?

From Global CIO: Why Do CIOs Get No Respect?

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