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.
June 1: IBM CEO Sam Palmisano: "The other thing that was gonna drive all this in addition to the technology shifts was client behavior: They were gonna get more towards outcome and less toward 'I'll be the assembler of other people's parts.' More towards outcome, and 'I'm no longer an assembler.' Why? Economic pressure. When you're under budget pressure, you cannot afford to do other people's work for them, i.e., the industry. Alright? And buying at good prices in little pieces and then assembling them doesn't generate value for your enterprise. As soon as you're under budget pressure, behavior shifts. Guess what? We're here. We see that occurring today as more and more people want outcome, solutions, front-office transformational things versus just 'I'll assemble piece-parts better than somebody else.' "

From Global CIO: Sam Palmisano's Grand Strategy For IBM"


June 16: The Coca-Cola team calls Freestyle its "first software-driven dispenser." [My colleague Mary] Hayes Weier calls it "Coke's front-line robotic army for business intelligence." I call it a dazzling breakthrough in product co-creation. The important thing is, what will you call your first meeting with your peers to discuss pursuing similar breakthroughs at your company?

From Global CIO: Six Lessons CIOs Must Learn From Coke's Dazzling Innovation


June 17, from BusinessWeek: "There’s a wide gap among the paychecks of IT executives. The top 5 CIOs took home a base salary of $500,000 to $821,000 in 2008, according to Equilar. Yet, the mean salary of IT executives at large corporations was just $142,914 . . . . Do you think limits should be set for CIO pay?"

From Socialism Hits Home As BusinessWeek Asks, Should CIO Pay Be Limited?


June 20: Vineet Nayar, CEO of India-based outsourcing company HCL, on U.S. IT workers: "Most are unemployable."

From Down To Business: When National IT Pride Devolves Into IT Stereotypes


June 22, as a real-life CIO writes about the travails of trying to keep employees satisfied with Blackberries in the age of the iPhone: "… the gaps between the CIO and the must-haves, the I-wants and the give-it-to-me-or-I’ll-tell-the-chief-executives widened into a veritable chasm. The helpdesk was inundated with petulant request forms, death threats began appearing on the intranet and he tired of telling the company how the iPhone didn’t cut and paste, didn’t support the email environment and wasn’t security aware enough."

From The Apple iPhone And The CIO


June 29, as the always quotable Marc Benioff talks about the power of peer recommendations: "You've got to get your customers selling for you," he said. "I don't think customers listen to vendors anymore. I think they listen to each other. . . . If you get the customer references, and you can get that gravitas around customers talking about you and recommending you and referring you, you're in good shape," he added. "If you can't get that going, you're in trouble."

From CIOs Don't Listen To Vendors Anymore, Salesforce CEO Says


July 23, featuring an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal column on Apple and Steve Jobs: "Mr. Jobs isn't as important as he seems: He is more so. For ten years he has given Apple focus – the one thing that every organization desperately needs, and which very few executives provide. He has targeted Apple like a laser beam on a few brilliantly successful projects."

From Apple's Investment Star Wanes As iPhone Its Only Growth Area


Aug. 3: "Consumers own the brands as much as we do, and they want to share their interests and likes," says Bonin Bough, director of social and emerging media for PepsiCo. "Twitter is the only medium where we can have a two-way continuous dialogue about the brand."

From Global CIO: Why CIOs Need The Transformative Power Of Twitter


Aug. 6: "Do you believe it is the job of the CIO to align IT with the business? If so, then you also must believe that IT is not *a part* of the business: that it's a separate, detached, and reactive support department that others believe is poorly understood but richly overfunded and grades out, in the final analysis, as a tactical cost center. Alternatively, do you believe that the job of the CIO is to align IT with customers? If so, then you can play an indispensable role in leading new processes, new metrics, and new expectations and responsibilities for a new-wave IT organization that is driven by customer value and focused on business innovation. If you can't get past this "align IT with the business" dogma, then you're relegating yourself to a permanent back-bencher role in charge of a tactical cost center that will ultimately be outsouced or gradually ground into dust." – Bob Evans on the emerging role of the CIO

From Global CIO: Welcome To The CIO Revolution: A New IT Manifesto

That's it for the first 25—and tune in again tomorrow for some highlights (and lowlights?) from the second half of 2009.

See Part II here.

GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at [email protected].

Editors' Choice
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Kelly Jackson Higgins 2, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading