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The Practical CIO: A Common Sense Guide for Successful IT Leadership Kindle Edition

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Length: 273 pages

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Editorial Reviews


"High tech was once the back end of business strategy. The two are now one, says tech exec Jose Eiras, author of "The Practical CIO."  To get with the program, chief information officers should: Think like a CEO. Unlike other areas of a firm, information technology operates best "when it's managed like a free-standing business" as opposed to a service center, Eiras said." (, April 16, 2010)

From the Inside Flap

As the global economy evolves and transforms, IT executives face dilemmas of truly mythic proportions. Despite understandable feelings of apprehension, you must still choose your destiny. Do you hunker down and wait timidly for fate, or do you seize the moment and act like a hero?

Guiding you in redefining your role as a chief information officer in a global marketplace, The Practical CIO: A Common Sense Guide for Successful IT Leadership tells it like it is. Here you will find the new modes of thinking and novel approaches necessary to increase your chances of surviving through the turbulence and uncertainty of a rapidly changing economy.

This is a unique book, superbly written by a seasoned executive leader who has "been there, done that" in positions of authority all over the world. Filled with real-world stories of success and failure, this timely book provides crucial advice on:

  • Attracting, nurturing, promoting, motivating, and preserving talent

  • Proactively establishing goals for IT

  • Writing, sharing, and using your IT strategy

  • Keeping your vendors accountable

  • Doing your homework before negotiating

  • Managing contracts—not just signing them

  • Working with the business

  • Managing and marketing the IT brand

  • Building and managing relationships up, down, and sideways across the enterprise and beyond its traditional boundaries

  • Acting like a CEO

Unlike earlier generations of CIOs, today's IT executives are expected to help the enterprise achieve its business goals. This represents a fundamental shift in thinking and poses a monumental test for the modern CIO. Savvy—and yes, practical— The Practical CIO helps you brace yourself for the coming changes and deal successfully with the challenges ahead of you.

Product Details

  • File Size: 961 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470531908
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 31, 2009)
  • Publication Date: December 31, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00333NCL0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,362,710 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Rich on July 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Would not recommend this book. Lightweight and sends a few wrong messages. A better name for the book would have been `ramblings from a nice, well connected CIO'.

But first the positives:
* breezy, easy, fast read
* chapter 3 on Designing the IT Strategy has a few useful chart (but nothing new, only ones in the book)
* nothing that is said is `bad' advice (except for the emphasis on how to treat vendors...see below)
* the author is clearly `Mr Relationship' who is connected with CIOs, so he must be a good guy (?)

The negatives:
* The book was developed from a series of independent conversations/events, so it does read almost more like a lightweight blog of consciousness than a reasoned, robust framework for a CIO. It even uses large spaces between one sentence paragraphs. To his credit the author is completely up front about this. The subtitle for the book claims it is `A Common Sense Guide for Successful IT Leadership'. It is Common Sense, but provides no Guide nor much about Leadership.
* The chapter on Designing the IT Strategy is really not on that. It is on Portfolio Management. It is another example of the book claiming to be much more than it actually is.
* 3 of the 10 chapters (and more) focus on vendors with I think, the wrong message. The overall message is that a core part of a CIO job is vendor management, treat vendors as vendors, and contracts are key...unless you decide they aren' which case renegotiating is fine...or unless you just don't which case demanding the vendor do something anyway is also fine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Chandrakumar on October 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it so valuable. Mr. Eiras has done a fabulous job in just 10 chapters compressing his years of experience in large scale IT operations for multi-nationals. Though numerous knowledge nuggets can be found throughout the book, chapters on "Establishing gols for IT", "IT Strategy","Work With the business" and Manage and Market IT Brand" stand out. This is a very easy book as the writing is so lucid and to the point and the sample dashboards can easily be taken up for immediate use. I found it quite relevant as in my previous company we used these kind of reports. With the directives and advise sourced from this book, I feel we could have done much better which I intend to do in our next iterations. Having been born and raised in Brazil, Mr. Erias brings in a different cultural perspective and demosntrates his success on foreign soils that had global reach while working in DHL and General Motors. It reminded me of the success attained by Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn ( academically trained in French and the glorious turn-around of Nissan in culturally-so-disting country Japan). Adopting the suggestions given in the book will certainly give simple universal view on the projects/priorities on hand and help align Senior Management, business, and IT in one plan. A must read for not only all CIOs but all the people in IT management to identify/understand the functional goals of IT and how to make it better. ~Chandra
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Format: Hardcover
As other reviewers have pointed out, at least to some degree, this is more of a personal memoir of the author's acquaintances and accomplishments than it is a book having anything to do with being a CIO. People that aspire to be a CIO should already have a majority of the information presented in their utility belt, before moving toward the big chair!

That said, the content and structure of this book work well for a couple of other communities, such as:
- Students transitioning into the work force
- "Business side" employees moving into the IT work (such as business analysts)
- IT employees moving into a management or leadership role for the first time

Otherwise, the information is far too basic to be of any value, and what is presented is not `practical' at all... it's not of much value, so how do you put knowledge like that to use?

UPDATE: If you are looking for a *real* practical guide for successful IT from a CIO perspective, I would recommend "World Class IT" by Peter High. Much more information that can be practically applied... without the personal (useless) anecdotes involving name and situation dropping.
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Format: Hardcover
OK, so imagine one of those nifty "magic quadrant" charts that consultants just love. In the bottom left quadrant, the CIO has no guts and no plan. In the top right quadrant, the CIO has guts and a plan. In the top left quadrant, the CIO has a plan but no guts, and in the bottom left quadrant, the CIO has guts, but no plan.

This chart does not appear in "The Practical CIO," probably because José Carlos Eiras is too polite to suggest that there are plenty of gutless, clueless CIOs running IT operations at major global companies. But that's the main message: If you're going to succeed as the CIO, you will need guts and you will need a plan. Both are critical for success. If either are missing, you're doomed.

I especially liked the stories about General Motors recounted by some of the author's former colleagues. Like all good business anecdotes, they are instructional, amusing and scary.

Bottom line, I liked the tone and content of this book. If your job is running the IT shop, you will enjoy "The Practical CIO," and you'll probably pick up some good tips.
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