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Jonathan Feldman, InformationWeek
Jonathan Feldman, InformationWeek
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CIOs In Training: 3 Factors For Success

At Interop New York, I'll reveal some secrets about getting to -- and staying in -- the CIO's chair.

IT workers: if someone asked you, "Do you want to be CIO?" your answer, most likely, would be "yes." But, apart from desiring the greater salary and influence, are you willing to fulfill the job requirement of being the type of CIO that the CEO will value? And are you willing to switch gears from being a technologist, become a hybrid business-technologist, and do what it takes to be an effective CIO in the digital age? At my quickly-approaching Interop New York session, I'll start exploring those questions. Here's a preview.

It's not enough to be named CIO. You actually have to be able to stay in your seat for some length of time in order to effect positive change to your IT organization and ultimately to the larger organization.

[ IFG Announces New President. ]

There's good news, and bad news. The good news: The Society for Information Management's most recent data shows high-level IT execs spent an average of 5.2 years, up from 3.6 years in 2006, in that role. And, the 2014 InformationWeek US IT Salary Survey showed that the median of an IT exec's tenure was 7 years. But not all is rosy: The InformationWeek research also showed that just 51% of IT executives rated their positions as very secure, with only 25% "very satisfied" with all aspects of their jobs.

My take on the upward trend: our profession has learned, the hard way, the factors that make an IT leader sustainable. These also happen to be the factors that help future CIOs climb their way into the big chair.

Factor #1: Understand business. A would-be CIO must learn the language of business. If you're not understood, expect your tenure to be brutish and short as a new CIO. Or, expect not to be selected for the big seat in the first place.

[ Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek. ]

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Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
8/29/2014 | 4:33:35 PM
re: CIOs In Training: 3 Factors For Success
True, now that I think about it, employees throughout the business could benefit their organization by adopting some of these requirements.
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
8/29/2014 | 3:52:08 PM
re: CIOs In Training: 3 Factors For Success
These are all important points but actually nothing "new" in terms of what distinguishes an effective and successful CIO, as we know from many years of developing the Elite 8 insurance CIO awards. The mantra "we don't do technology for its own sake" goes back to my early days of covering the business (you don't want to know when that was), and the call to understand and align with the business goes back just as far. In fact, I'd suggest that these are not just CIO requirements, but should extend all the way through any technology-related job, at all levels -- not just in the IT organization, but in marketing, actuarial, risk management/underwriting, sales support, etc.It's not reserved for senior management.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
8/27/2014 | 4:33:54 PM
re: CIOs In Training: 3 Factors For Success
Based on this article, it seems as though successful CIOs should spend as much time developing relationships and learning the business as they do on tech initiatives. It's hard for a CIO to innovate and truly help the business - and its employees - until they really understand its greatest needs.
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