Too often they are defensive and put up barriers between themselves and the business, he said.
"Many IT managers are friends of their suppliers, surround themselves with consultants and look to them for emotional support, and so become dependent on third parties rather than on people within their own organisation," he said. "IT management should not be any different to general business management."
Tomlin, a former CIO of Virgin Atlantic and commercial director of Eurostar, urged IT directors to compete for business leaders' attention. He also told them to focus only on the strategic projects that give most value to the organisation and not waste time on less important work.