Top 9 Must-Read Books for IT Heads & CIOs


Learning from the experts helps you to grow your skills and knowledge. Books are an abundant source of knowledge as it contains information and insights from the expert's journey. 

Reading books is a good way to acquire knowledge and learn from the experiences of the people. Information technology is a rapidly changing field, and things change and evolve with time in it. To keep yourself updated with the contemporary changes as well as learn nuances of the technologies, you can refer to books written by experts.

Books not only provide a plethora of information but also help in developing expertise in the field and shaping your career.

There are many books available in the market which you can read. In this post, we're going to discuss some of the books which IT professionals can read to grow their careers as well as develop expertise. 

Top Books for IT Professionals

1. The Cybersecurity Playbook: How Every Leader and Employee Can Contribute to a Culture of Security

The Cybersecurity Playbook by Allison Cerra, who was CMO of one of the largest cybersecurity companies in the world, McAfee, provides practical and everyday guides about how organizations can prevent unknown threats. 

The book covers step-by-step procedures and outlines an action plan for integrating proven security habits and policies into the business to protect them from threats. The Cybersecurity Playbook can help IT leaders, to deploy cybersecurity measures and policies across the organization using the easy-to-follow methods and already proven techniques mentioned in it. 

IT leaders can also develop specific security plans tailored to the organization’s custom needs with the help of frameworks provided in the book. Every employee needs to follow policies and security guidelines within the organization to prevent cybersecurity threats.

This book covers how every manager, executive, and employee can help in building strong cybersecurity safeguards in the organization. It also helps IT heads to incorporate vital security practices into their organization in everyday workflow quickly and efficiently to deal with cybersecurity threats.

2. Why Digital Transformations Fail: The Surprising Disciplines of How to Take off and Stay Ahead 

Author Tony Saldanha, former Procter & Gamble vice president for IT and shared services, discusses how to make a successful digital transformation in your organization. Saldanha has illustrated pragmatic approaches to make digital transformation rather than ambiguous management jargon. 

The books cover not only how to avoid mistakes while doing digital transformation but also provide a simple checklist approach that can help handle complicated transitions in a very efficient and easy manner. 

Saldanha has given many case studies in the book, which makes it easy to understand. The specific models and concepts covered in the book help in providing a practical roadmap for digital transformation.    

3. The Cloud Adoption Playbook - Proven Strategies for Transforming Your Organization with the Cloud

Written by a team of IBM technical experts, this book helps you understand how cloud adoption impacts culture, security, architecture, and more in your organization. 

The Cloud Adoption Playbook makes it easy to understand the role of governance, methodology, and how cloud adoption impacts important players in your organization. 

The book has many real-world examples of how cloud adoption helps organizations and acts as an ultimate resource for making your cloud adoption work. The Cloud Adoption Playbook also provides you insights into how you can manage your organization's service and operations in the cloud environment to make your organization more efficient.

4. Implementing World Class IT Strategy: How IT Can Drive Organizational Innovation

Peter High, an expert in business and information technology strategy, gives insights into how to build a solid IT strategy in your organization. He has provided many pragmatic and real-world examples in the book to help you better understand the concepts. 

The book helps you to formulate clearer and better IT strategic plans as well as build an infrastructure that aligns with C-suite strategy. You’ll also find information on how to close the gap between IT leaders and business leaders within your organization. 

5. Wolf in CIO's Clothing

Tina Nunno, in Wolf in Cio's Clothing, has provided many case studies to demonstrate how CIOs and IT leaders can mend their leadership styles in extreme situations for the success of their own and that of the team in the organization. The book helps IT, leaders to build a more realistic and pragmatic perspective to deal with negative forces in work with the help of full of examples covered in it. Wolf in Cio's Clothing highlights many situations that CIOs face at the different stages in their tenure and how different approaches lead to success or failure.

6. The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership – Martha Heller

Martha Heller has demonstrated in this book some of the key challenges IT leaders are facing in the contemporary world and has provided practice ideas with the help of real-world examples of how to overcome these challenges. 

The book shows how successful CIOs establish a balance between different aspects of the business even after making difficult decisions around technology, business, and resources. 

The CIO in everyday life faces questions and situations that appear paradoxical in nature and have to make difficult decisions such as cutting costs by reducing human resources and deploying more technological tools. 

The CIO Paradox helps CIOs weigh their opinions and understand the implications of their decisions in real-world circumstances by providing pragmatic examples from different enterprises.

7. The CIO Playbook: Strategies and Best Practices for IT Leaders to Deliver Value

Nicolas Colisto, in this book, has addressed common issues that IT leaders face, like building the team to achieve the desired goal. Colisto has also covered how to make partnerships with business peers and deliver high-quality products and services that are embraced by users. 

You can also get ideas about how to manage risks to operate effectively and protect your organization's reputation with the help of this book. The book provides solutions for measuring the performance of your teams and building and retaining talents in the organization.

Nicolas has revealed a dynamic seven-step framework; Partner, Organize, Innovate, Deliver, Support, Protect and Grow to make essential changes in your organization.

8. Lean Enterprise: How High-Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale

This book provides insights into pragmatic strategies and practices for developing a high-performing organization and injecting innovation into large organizations. The book provides insights into how to lead and manage large-scale programs that empower employees, increase the speed and quality of delivery and ensure optimum utilization of resources. 

Lean Enterprise also provides insights about how lean focus on people and teamwork at every level helps in your organization's growth in contrast to the traditional management practices. 

The book has many case studies with which you’ll learn about how successful enterprises have developed everything from financial management to system architecture and organizational culture in the desire to drastically improve performance.   

9. Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations

This book helps you to understand how to use technology to bring business value. You’ll learn about how to improve the performance of your teams and find out the capabilities in which your organization should invest to drive higher performance. 

You'll find a clear, concise, and methodical way of how a high-performance team differs from a low performance. The book explores a range of technical, cultural, managerial, and organizational aspects that can collectively be used to bring drastic changes in the organization's performance and software development capabilities. 

This book has numerous case studies and practical examples to back the different findings. 


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SaaS Operations - The Complete Guide

SaaS operations consist of procuring the right set of SaaS apps, managing access to these apps by users/departments, monitoring their usage, and offboarding them properly when they are no longer needed.

SaaS Management: The Most Comprehensive Guide - 2022

Though with all its goodness, SaaS brings financial, security, and compliance risks to organizations. For IT teams, issues like providing and revoking access to employees during onboarding and offboarding or when their role changes are very time-consuming. 

SaaS Sprawl - The Ultimate Guide

When an organization has a large number of SaaS applications in its SaaS stack, it gives rise to SaaS Sprawl.

Symptoms of an Unoptimized SaaS Stack (+ Solutions)

In this post, we've discussed 7 symptoms of an unoptimized SaaS stack and solutions to optimize the same.

SaaS Vendor Management in 2022: The Definitive Guide

An obese SaaS stack leads to SaaS wastage. It's a disease! It not only causes financial issues but also gives you security and compliance problems. That's why you must keep tight control on your SaaS stack. And it begins with managing your SaaS vendors.