CIOs Avoid Giving Tech Gifts

Although they certainly seem to excel in ownership of such items, CIOs apparently do not give electronics or technical gadgets as gifts, according to a recent poll by IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology.

The poll saw Robert Half drawing responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. It asked: “Do you plan to give technology-based products such as computers, electronics or technology gadgets as gifts for the holidays?”

Sixty-four percent of respondents said no.

John Estes, Robert Half Technology vice president, said he feels this figure reflects not so much the gift-giving tastes of CIOs but rather the price tag of the items themselves.

“These little gadgets, they’re not so inexpensive,” Estes said. “In the old days, you could give someone a Walkman, and that was considered high-tech. You give someone a Walkman these days, and they’ll laugh at you. If it’s not a Treo or a BlackBerry or an iPod with all the bells and whistles, it’s not much of a gadget.”

Estes also said giving high-tech items as gifts in an office environment presents a problem with respect to the equitable treatment of all employees.

“Companies are aware of the fact that if you do for one, you have to do for everybody, and you start giving out $200 to $400 gifts to a lot of people, again, you’re starting to get into that expense mode,” he said.

It’s not that companies completely shy away from spending on their employees, but Estes said there seems still be a general cautiousness within the industry.

“I think even though the economy is better, and hiring is up, people still have long memories (from the fallout) of the crazy days of the dot-com world, so they’re still being fairly conservative in their spending.”

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