• Lyle Neff

CIO. Don’t let shiny toys sideline tech strategy, says PCIS


In tech enterprise, to err is human; to adapt and rebound is divine. The digital mag CIO has rounded up some smart and rueful IT people here, to recount their most instructive failures. PCIS CEO Vaclav Vincalek’s sad story is particularly resonant, if you’ve ever fallen in love with an elegant but inappropriate piece of software.


Read Vaclav Vincalek on suiting tech to its environment.


“‘Quite simply, I thought a certain technology was cool,’ Vincalek says. ‘Because of my enthusiasm for this leading-edge tool, I pushed it on an enterprise client. I only realized later it wasn’t well suited for their environment. Fortunately for the customer, the customer’s CIO recognized this error fairly quickly and adjusted the course of the project.’


The problem? Vincalek hadn’t taken into account the business requirements and current IT environment. ‘Sure, my ‘cool’ solution would have worked,” he says. ‘But it also would have added cost, effort and risks to their IT processes that just weren’t needed. Their internal CIO listed off his reasons why they had gone in a different direction and we moved on from there.’”


Any innovative company is going to screw up occasionally. The common theme in the mistakes described here, it seems to me, is the cultivated resilience of the people and organizations who made them. Resilience doesn’t require a lot of resources; but it does come with experience.