Naked CIO: If IT chiefs were cars, what model would yours be?

A Porsche, a BMW or a Volvo? Or is a Reliant Robin closer to the mark?

After examined the comparisons between high-end smartphones and top-flight cars last week, are there parallels to be drawn between the IT department and car showroom forecourts? The Naked CIO makes some suggestions.

The Porsche CIO
This CIO believes he or she is above everyone and is consumed by status. They show off their business card at every opportunity but internally, they are removed from their people. In fact, there is a significant divide between them and their staff.

They have a commanding presence but lack an understanding of what people do to be effective. Although they are great at the board level, they oversell their services to the point where their people are always overtaxed.

The Hummer CIO
This CIO is all about infrastructure and security. They run a tight ship and if anything fails to comply with proper security protocol, it won't be done. Often they use governance as a way to stifle innovation in the business but their systems rarely fail and are the model of stability.

These CIOs may not be responsive to business needs but their environment is always up to the challenge.

The Volvo CIO
This CIO has probably worked his or her way up the company. They are not known as charismatic leaders but as worker bees who get the job done. They are generally an order taker and work on developing procedures for support and IT projects.

They are very driven by methodology and approach, and probably certified in Itil and other key aspects of managing IT, such as Prince. They are not creative and apply a very specific approach to IT which is driven by known principles.

Which make of car would your CIO be?

Which model would your CIO be?
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

The Reliant Robin CIO
This CIO probably started out in programming and is probably young. They love open source and treat IT not only as a job but as a hobby as well. They are technically impressive but lack key management skills and are somewhat limited socially unless the talk is about code.

However, they can mentor key staff and will probably be keen to get their hands dirty at the shop level.

This CIO is strictly business. They understand how the IT department needs to fit into the business and act as a strategic aid. They are very good at aligning business and IT functions but sometimes lose the respect of their more technical colleagues because they are seen as more business and less IT.

Generally, they are very good at managing initiatives and programs to succeed but sometimes fail to empathise with staff about the challenges they face.

The Smart Car CIO
This CIO is all about cost cutting and streamlining initiatives, and is probably very green as well. The Smart Car CIO is more of a henchman to the CFO than necessarily a CIO in their own right.

They follow someone else's agenda but are good on delivery and, because they toe the company line, are respected by senior management. They generally fail to command the respect of their staff, who think they haven't earned the role and do not stick up for the team.

What's your make?
Which model are you or have you encountered in your career? Or is there another make of IT chief I've missed? Let me know by posting a reader comment below.