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9 Books to Read for IT Professionals from CIOs
August 10, 2016 by Eric S. Yuan

Books to read over the summer? With so much to do and precious little time to do it in, that might sound like a work of fiction. This is certainly no less true for the CIOs and IT managers among you. We know all about you BTW, in a totally non-creepy way of-course 🙂 The fires you put out, the programs you develop, the budgets you manage, the staff you inspire, the pilots you run, the SLAs you drive. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of “you” going on. There’s a lot depending on you. You unsung hero you!

A wise person once said “with limited time, comes limited reading”. That’s pure genius and it’s so true. If you don’t have much time to read, then researching interesting and pertinent books to read makes it all the more challenging. Fret not! We’d like to remedy that unfortunate situation right now. We’ve polled some world-class CIOs for their recommendations and curated this list especially for you. We hope you find it helpful, informative, and enjoyable!

9 Suggested Books to Read for IT Pros & CIOs

1. Opinder Bawa – University of San Francisco CIO

The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman. In this new edition, Thomas L. Friedman includes fresh stories and insights to help us understand the flattening of the world. Weaving new information into his overall thesis, and answering the questions he has been most frequently asked by parents across the country, this third edition also includes two new chapters–on how to be a political activist and social entrepreneur in a flat world; and on the more troubling question of how to manage our reputations and privacy in a world where we are all becoming publishers and public figures. [Amazon.com product description]

2. Paul Chapman – Box CIO

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny by motivational speaker and author Robin Sharma is an inspiring tale that provides a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance and joy. [Amazon.com product description]

3. Bask Iyer – VMWare CIO

The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel. “I am fascinated to read more about Ramanujan, a boy who grew up not far from my own ancestral village and went on to create a magical legacy in mathematics by the age of thirty-two, and that too with no formal training in mathematics. He himself had described that he received visions of these mathematical formulae from the goddess of the town of Namakkal. Is this possible? Can intuition trump rigorous analysis and proof? How cool is that! What else do we not know about the human mind and how it works?” – Bask Iyer

4. Arne Josefsberg – GoDaddy CIO

Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. “It’s about how people self-justify bad decisions and actions. So something we see often in business. It is written in a pretty entertaining way, which makes it a fun read – so far.” – Arne Josefsberg

5. Tom Keiser – Zendesk CIO

Mindset by Benjamin Smith. Do you ever wonder why some people get to achieve their dreams whereas some people never even get close to that? Well this book will help you learn how to embrace positive thinking in order to achieve success in your life. So, what makes the difference between someone who seems to get things done, achieve success, and seem to have it all and someone who does not seem to get things done? [Amazon.com product description]Live Demo

6. Yousuf Khan – Pure Storage CIO

Once Upon A Car by Bill Vlasic. Once Upon a Car is the fascinating epic story of the rise, fall, and rebirth of the Big Three U.S. automakers, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. It offers a clear-eyed view of the present day automobile industry and of Detroit, the city that spawned it, going far beyond the corporate and federal maneuverings to explore the impact the car companies’ failures have had on the overall economy, and more importantly what they have done to people’s lives. [Amazon.com product description]

7. CJ Singh – Healthgrades.com CIO

The Art of Scalability by Abbott and Fisher. “Very comprehensive POV on technology management and leadership” – CJ Singh

8. Sriram Thiagarajan – Infoblox CIO

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. “Ben describes in brutally honest terms, his journey leading, scaling, selling his startup and how he dealt with challenges in managing the company as well as his personal life. Though it is intended for entrepreneurs, all leaders can learn a thing or two about how it’s important to get real when things fall apart, hiring for strengths versus lack of weakness, investing in training the team and most importantly having the mental strength to think through challenging situations without giving into emotional pressure.” – Sriram Thiagarajan

9. Naveen Zutshi – Palo Alto Networks CIO

The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen. “It is an old book but the analytics performed in it is strong and the advice still holds true. It is really the notion of how “disruptive innovation” is hard for established companies while adhering to customers wishes, adopting technologies, and keeping an eye on the competition. Several books around blue ocean strategies and many books on innovation have been spin offs from the idea of disruptive technology and innovation idea that Clayton put forward in 1997.” – Naveen Zutshi