Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chasing Unicorns: How to Find 'Blended' IT-Business Pros

With the largest IT budget in the world at her disposal, you might think the CIO of the Department of Defense could just order up whatever IT talent she needs. Yet Teri Takai encounters the same challenge that technology chiefs in every industry wrestle with today: finding that elusive "blended" IT-business professional.

"It's hard for tech people--even middle manager on up to senior managers--to think the way that the business thinks," she points out. "They tend to explain things from their own perspective."

These days, the ideal IT manager is seen as someone deeply technical yet business savvy, wonderfully communicative and, of course, a strategic thinker. In other words, as mythic a creature as a unicorn. "This talent issue is hardly new," writes Stephanie Overby in our cover story ("CIOs Struggle with the Great Talent Hunt"). "IT leaders have preached the importance of the blended IT professional for years. But after a decade, it's clear that help is not on the way."

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