Report Says CEOs Would Like Less Jargon From CIOs

As any IT Support Company or IT professional knows, IT jargon can be a helpful time saver between those in the know, but can be annoying and frustrating for others, particularly customers.

A report compiled by Enduserv from the opinions and expectation expressed in a recent workshop at a Local Government Chronicle CEO Summit involving around 20 local government CEOs shows that less use of jargon is one of the main ways that CIOs, CTOs and their teams could help support CEOs.

According to the CEOs, “tech speak” can be a real barrier to collaborative working. Although CEOs often understand many of the aspects of a company’s IT, the report appears to indicate that work still needs to be done to make sure that CEOs and CIOs can work harmoniously and feel as though each has a better understanding of their part in the overall business strategy. 


The Chairperson of the workshop Jos Creese, principal analyst at Eduserv is reported to have said that heads of IT and CIOs have an opportunity and an important role in helping CEOs but this could be achieved more easily if they talked less about IT and focused on business issues. One of the other main criticisms of some heads of IT and CIOs was that they tend to focus too much on the “clever” technologies themselves rather than on how those technologies could be used to improve service delivery. This can result in a poor alignment of IT activity and business priorities.

CEOs also expressed frustration that some IT teams aren’t concentrating on providing the data that makes it easier for people access and use public services. 


The report urged CIOs to implement IT systems that don’t have proprietary lock-in and to link those up with others to create a collaborative framework. The report also aired suggestions by CEOs that CIOs should stop purchasing IT that has no clear benefit to the organisation, and to find more modern and better ways of working in IT Teams.

Jargon Complaints - Nothing New

Complaints about the use of jargon by IT professionals are certainly nothing new. A survey 2 years ago by Six Degrees Group for example found that 48% of the business people surveyed believe that technology companies use too much jargon, compared to 26% for politicians, 22% for financial services and only 4% for lawyers!

A CIO Dilemma 

The sixth annual global CIO survey produced with IDG Research however helped to highlight a dilemma that that many CIOs say they find themselves in. The more attention that the CIOs get from “the business” and the more IT becomes essential to the success of that business, the more CIOs feel as though they are expected to focus on “keeping the lights on.” At the same time in many cases CIOs feel that the greater the impact IT has on the business, the more CIOs are expected to simply do what they are told to do by the business executives. 

As in all organisations better communication between departments can be a great way to get concerns and different perspectives out in the open and move things forward.