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CXO

Eight reasons why workers hate the CIO - and how to win them back

From fighting with hard hardware to beating the just-a-cost problem...

Tension between end users and the IT department is not a new phenomenon and, thanks to growing consumerisation of technology coupled with increased pressure for IT staff to do more with less, it's not one that shows signs of lessening any time soon.

Angry man

CIOs should avoid pushing technology on end users or they may well find the end users push backPhoto: Shutterstock

As the head of the IT department, the CIO can find a lot of staff negativity directed at them. However, the situation is not irreparable. silicon.com has rounded up the top reasons why end users get fed up with the CIO - along with what to do about it.

1. Everyone thinks they're an expert

Consumerisation of technology means most staff think they know what they're talking about when it comes to IT - leaving the CIO facing greater expectations and potentially greater resistance from end users if they don't agree with decisions made about IT infrastructure.

"People do understand technology more and they will have opinions, but a good CIO will welcome that and will have forums to allow people to share their thoughts and their perspectives," said Vicky Maxwell Davies, co-head of the CIO practice and partner at executive headhunters Boyden.

CIOs should avoid pushing out technology without taking end users' views into consideration - otherwise they risk seeing workers push back.

"If the users feel they are not being heard, it will absolutely cause tension," Maxwell Davies told silicon.com.

2. Everyone wants to be like Apple

Thanks to the likes of Apple and Google, technology seems easy. Brinley Platts, chairman of executive coaching organisation CIO Development, told silicon.com that because people can download apps direct to their phone in a matter of seconds, they don't understand why enterprise IT appears so slow.

"They say, 'I want this quick little fix here. You're saying no you can't do that, you have to wait six months, it's got to have this and that and be a bit more robust but I just want something quickly', and enterprise IT has traditionally not been able to respond to these types of requests," he said.

End users have no idea what is required to make the Apple ecosystem work so smoothly, and this leads to unrealistic expectations, according to Platts.

"In order to download an app in 59 seconds and pay 59p for it, and have it work straight away every time, an enormous amount of really solid, buttoned-down engineering is supporting that, which is completely invisible to the iPhone user," he said.

CIOs either need to get better at...

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