Role of the CIO – Technologist to Business Strategist

A recent article published by CIO.com about the changing role and job requirements of the CIO resonated with us for several reasons. First, the talent pool for the CIO position as ascribed in the article differs a bit from years past. Secondly, the characteristics and requirements for this role are shifting. Lastly, the expectations for the “modern day CIO” have evolved prompting a new paradigm for staffing the position.

business grow strategy 300x225The job requirements for today’s CIOs and IT leaders demand stronger business acumen in addition to the traditional technical proficiencies required in past years. It’s not sufficient to have a solid understanding of technology given the business demands and decisions that CIO’s are responsible for in today’s fluctuating environment.

For example, consider the impact of cloud computing on IT and business strategy in general. Now that most of the sustaining, non strategic work that CIO’s were chartered with is being outsourced then it follows that the skill set of a CIO would probably demand modification. 

Today’s executives are far more tech savvy and don’t require as much hand holding. The technology skill set once required to source CIOs will continue to shift from traditional technology backgrounds to experience in other management functions and global business experience.

The importance of connecting the advantages of technology to real business problems is now a critical characteristic of the makeup of the “modern day CIO”.  Buying and implementing technology for the sake of it and without the business strategy in mind is a dead thought process in 2011. Connecting the dots between the tools and the value to an organization and its users is here to stay.

The impact of globalization, recession, cloud computing, and IT governance on CIOs are impacting the role and the skill set for the better. IT should always have a “seat at the table” to ensure that the available technologies are impacting the business in the right ways.

Big changes ahead to be sure, but the one thing that won’t change is the importance of the CIO role to any organization regardless of the shifting demands of the position.

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