Of the top 100 CEOs, only a very small number referenced IT in their annual report letters, George Colony, chief executive at Forrester Research, has told Forrester's IT Forum EMEA 2010.
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He said, "CEOs do not really care about IT. If you look at how IT is managed, you have lines of business and functional groups in the business and IT is a project-based world. I met FedEX's IT group, and the CEO asked how each project was going and could only ask, is it on time?"
Colony warned that while IT does a lot of projects, projects do not matter to the business. "CEO can truly add no wisdom to this project-oriented world. This is the world of IT that exists in businesses today," he said.
Colony believes the CEO should engage in "business technology" - a term Forrester has coined to describe how the technology organisation works with the business. "The technology organisation and business comes together to look at the capabilities that the company actually needs," he said.
He said the CEO can push technology and business groups together to build capabilities that IT can develop for the business. One example of a CEO doing this is Pfizer's chief executive, who has to rethink the company's strategy on drug development.