Vendors need to pay more attention to the IT manager. I asked the other day whether the sense of the ever-increasing importance of the IT manager resonates with your business, and whether vendors continue to court the CIO when they should really be aiming for their senior IT sidekick?
“Sadly, CIOs mostly equal IT managers,” replied columnist and consultant Ade McCormack, recognising the contested nature of the IT leadership role and the belief that too many CIOs act operationally rather than strategically.
“Find the influencers,” suggested technology strategist Mark Wilson, noting the importance for vendors – or anyone, for that matter – of finding the right person for the right type of business decision.
“Ideally they shouldn’t contact us at all!” said IT strategy specialist Martin Howitt, raising the spectre of IT leaders message boxes being filled with salesperson cold calls.
What’s the alternative to engaging with vendors, though? Can CIOs and IT managers influential enough to be able to circumnavigate the sales chatter, or can suppliers sometimes bring something useful to the strategy table?