Too often I hear people from IT organizations speak about the need for those outside IT to understand and speak about technology.  For some reason they seem to think it is everybody else’s responsibility to understand what IT does. I wonder if these people spend their time learning about electricity, plumbing and building architecture.  Do they take the effort to study the law that affects their industry and HR?

We in the IT industry need to come to the realization that it is our responsibility to explain the technology, its risks and its benefits to the rest of the organization in terms that makes sense to them.  It is not their job learn learn how to do our job. It is this role, as communicator and translator, that separates the Chief Information Officer from the IT director.  The CIO is an organizational leader. They speak the language of their organization. They are multilingual. They can also speak IT, but should be conversant at a strategic level with every other function in the organization.

We all know that technology is important but we will only realize the value that it can provide by lifting ourselves out of the depths of technology and think in terms of value to the organization. Stop trying to get the rest of the world to speak our language; it’s time we stop speaking just IT.

Rob Collins — March 27, 2017