That was the million-dollar question posed at a recent MT breakfast debate, to a star-studded panel from both sides of the CEO/CIO stand off. Are techies and suits really so different in the way they behave and operate that they might as well be from different planets? You can watch the answers here.
On the Mars side of the sofa were David Yu, CEO of online gambling phenomenon Betfair, and Warren East, CEO of ARM, the UK microchip business whose designs power everything from mobile phones to MP3 players.
The Venusians, meanwhile, were represented by Jeremy Vincent, CIO of Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s largest car maker, and Christine Ashton, group strategy director at TfL, the person responsible for keeping the London Underground’s IT systems up and running.
Keeping the whole thing friendly and on message was MT deputy editor Andrew Saunders. The panellists ranged far and wide across the subject, tackling such issues as exactly how bad the comprehension gap between IT and the suits really is, how much that really matters and whether IT is still a simple matter of ‘plumbing’ or if it really can make a strategic contribution to the body corporate.
The result was an instructive, constructive and enjoyable session, the edited highlights of which can be enjoyed online here. Whichever planet you’re on, it’s worth a look.