2009 CIO Award Winners Are Not Embracing Social Media

CO261 I’ve been doing some research to support an article I am writing for an upcoming post to InfoBOOM on the topic of CIOs and the Social Media.   My article will provide some thoughts on what CIOs should be doing this year to begin to leverage the social computing trend.  That article will appear on InfoBOOM in mid March.

One of the things I was curious to find out was whether or not CIOs were embracing the public side of the social media trend.  I wanted to see if I could find evidence of CIOs, CTOs, and IT leaders who were participating in the public social networks.  Are there CIOs out there that are actively engaging in conversations and providing though leadership on topics that are important to CIOs?   So far I have found about 50 of them that are blogging, tweeting, and connecting on social sites. I will post that list in the next day or two as I finish my research, so watch for that post.

As I did this research, I decided to take a look at some of the CIO and IT leaders who received awards in 2009 to see if they had embraced the public side of social media. Every year, there are a number of organizations that hand out awards to top CIOs and IT leaders, each with slightly different criteria.  The question I was asking was were these award winners actively participating in the public discussions on topics that are important to CIOs and IT Leaders? 

So I picked two 2009 award lists and researched the award winners on each list.

  1. The CIO Leadership Network’s 2009 Top 10 Leaders & Change Agents Award honored CIOs and senior IT executives “whose innovative responses to changing business needs have provided outstanding leadership in global IT management and have brought demonstrable business benefit to their organizations”.  
  2. The CIO.com 2009 Ones to Watch Awards honored 25 “rising stars in IT—the senior staff destined to become the CIOs of the future—as identified and sponsored by the CIOs of today's leading organizations”.

I performed online searches of the 35 award winners to see if I could find evidence that they were participating in the public social media.  I looked for evidence that they were blogging, tweeting, commenting, or otherwise posting content that was being consumed in the social media. 

Of the 35 award winners, I could find no evidence that anyone was blogging or commenting on others blogs.  Only two of these award winners have Twitter IDs and both of them are not actively using Twitter.  It was encouraging to find that 29 out of the 35 did have profiles set up on LinkedIn, however, most of those profiles were lacking content.   I found less than half of them were on Facebook.

While I understand that blogging and tweeting might not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, I would have hoped I would find more of these award winners actively participating online and adding their voice to public conversations happening about subjects important to the IT industry.  There’s so much we could be learning from these award winners…and so much they could be learning as well. 

The social computing trend is a very significant trend that is quickly crossing over from the consumer market to enterprises.  Our future CIOs and IT leaders need to be embracing the social computing trend in order to understand it’s impact on business processes and the potential value it can bring to the enterprise. 

I’d like to see a higher percentage of these award winners experimenting with social media and sharing their thoughts on the future of the IT industry and the role of the CIO.

3 thoughts on “2009 CIO Award Winners Are Not Embracing Social Media

  1. Bill,
    This is an interesting analysis with rather disappointing results. As you say it may not be everyones “cup of tea” but I would have hoped that more would actually be using social media. It will be difficult for them to set policy, develop uses for it etc. if they don’t even understand it. It’s kind of hard to lead from the rear.
    Mike

  2. @Mike…yes, I totally agree. It’s actually one of the reasons I did the research. I was surprised at the results of this research…I thought more of the 2009 award winners would be demonstrating leadership in the public social space. It is unfortunate. Hope we can move the needle more in that direction and perhaps this post will help.

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    CIOs and IT leaders need to promote social media or risk becoming marginalized. I recently attended a panel discussion of four CIOs put on by a major IT research firm and found the exchange on social media interesting. In addition…

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