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For those of us that closely track cybersecurity and IT news, the recent resignation by Nicholas Chaillan, a serial entrepreneur, and the US Air Force’s first Information Technology software officer was disturbing, but mirrored what many IT leaders today believe, but won’t admit publicly. IT leaders with exceptional long-term vision across organizational silos struggle to bring their best thinking to maturely advance technology, for the benefit of their organizations. Mr. Chaillan’s resignation published in the Financial Times was candid. “Please stop putting a Major or Lt Col. (despite their devotion, exceptional attitude, and culture) in charge of ICAM, Zero Trust or Cloud for 1 to 4 million users when they have no previous experience in that field—we are setting up critical infrastructure to fail,” he wrote. “We would not put a pilot in the cockpit without extensive flight training; why would we expect someone with no IT experience to be close to successful?” Mr. Chaillan’s comments shine a spotlight on who gets to make the “final decision” about technology investments – and highlight the parallel universe and lingo that technologists live in (ICAM, zero trust, cloud…) and must understand. Highly educated, experienced IT pros are always “advisors” (albeit often well paid and respected) to business leaders. Clearly running a business, financials, supply chain, manufacturing, people, communications, partnerships is complex. But with rare exception, there are few business leaders who live in the complex, lightning speed world that IT leaders face. A long-term IT strategy needs to address how to bring this important technology expertise -technology leadership and decision making (governance for the future) into the organization directly. Ask any IT or technology professional, and privately most will have stories about business leaders who are ill equipped to ask mature questions about innovation investments. Business leaders who work in non-technical leadership echo chambers, wowed by shiny objects, and features of technology, or lowest short-term cost who don’t understand lost opportunity of choosing advanced technology platform functionality over feature frenzy. Mr. Chaillan’s comments might sting and to some might be exaggerated – kindergarten level understanding, excessive bureaucracy and the fatigue of continuously chasing and convincing non-technical leaders to support and fund the innovation that is in step with industry. As a futurist, I’m very worried about nation-state cyber-adversaries, who don’t share our principles about privacy, freedom and democracy and are further ahead with technology. And I’m worried about my brilliant students in advanced database concepts class, a few of who saw “kindergarten” level approaches to technologies they could make better in their co-op terms, but no one was listening. What if IT was really empowered, listened and supported to make the decision supporting the potential of a platform and tech partnership over feature frenzy and shiny objects? Where are we headed if we don’t find a new way to engage the technologists who really understand the huge investments being made in technology?