Vala Afshar, Chief Customer Officer at Enterasys Networks, a unit of Siemens Enterprise, lists who he considers the 50 most social CIOs on Twitter.
In a side conversation, I asked him if tech sector CIOs dominated his list. You would presume they would be more technologically savvy, and also more prone to put on their marketing hats in social conversations. Surprisingly, he says the most active are in Higher Education. The least in Healthcare.
Those are interesting factoids, but most CIOs actively talk to their peers in their industry. In work I have done with many, I am always impressed they know warts, economics of vendors and products from conversations with peers. I have seen a couple of outsourcers win deals because they agreed to move the entire project team from a peer company as soon as that was finished. The CIO wanted to leverage that experience. In reverse, I see the competitive zeal when it comes to products and services their peers are working on, and trying to glean from vendors (and often me) of bits of that intelligence:)
So, given the informal channels, what do CIOs use social networks for? I asked Vala if they mostly use to share best practices, or also to vent in public.
His response “the larger the company size, the less noise and complaints (media training?).”
Of course, if the media training was socially savvy, it would coach the CIO that negative social sentiment gets more results than a private conversation with an account manager. Not all the time, but at strategic points.
It’s good to see CIOs become more active on social networks. I would be hesitant to draw too much of a psychological profile of a CIO from his/her social mutterings given the other back channel conversations they have, but it is a welcome set of signals in an ether filled with too much vendor and “influencer” noise.