I’ve just read this article on a post on linkedin. If you’re interested, you can see it here.
The idea doesn’t suprise me in the slightest. Software and Systems at management levels is about leadership, direction and setting goals and managing deliverables – I’d go as far to say a powerful word like VISION.
It is a massive advantage to have a history and understanding of technology. But if you manage and employ experts in the functions you need, you as a leader should be able to get the most out of them, and empower them to manage, function and work with you to make those relationships with the rest of the business.
Having worked with transformation managers who weren’t “IT people”, thier skills and knowledge of the business enabled our IT focus to concentrate on delivery. He fought battles that the IS Director didn’t want to det involved with.
Software is simply the embodyment of a businesses processes, how it works is down to the engineers who deliver it. But the need and the benefit for it, in very few cases appears to come simply from IT lead change. Its normally financial, the need to reduce cost or customer focused in the need to deliver faster, quicker and better than before.
Infrastructure IT changes are slightly different – as they enable the business, and they’ll certainly be IT lead. Software and Processes however, I’d take a business focused individual every time, and if they’ve got a foot in each camp. They’re worth every penny you end up paying them.