The role of today’s CIO is changing—why it’s imperative for the success of the organization

The CIO role is changing–it must continue to change so that IT organizations can become and remain successful. In her article for Bloomberg Business Week, Rachael King quotes Rebecca Jacoby, CIO at Cisco Systems (CSCO), on the changing role of today’s CIO:  “As technology plays a more central role in products and employees do more work on a broader range of devices, CIOs need experience running businesses and spurring innovation—not just keeping computers running.”

Read Rachel’s full post. Here’s my observation on why the role of the CIO should continue to change and why it makes sense.

The focus of the CIO role is now much more about the purpose of leadership.  Whether or not a CIO has come up through a technical track or not will not necessarily make that CIO become a successful business leader.  Technical experience alone does not give anyone the ability to lead an IT organization.

It has been my experience that many people within IT organizations may sometimes feel threatened by a non-technologically trained CIO taking the reins of a company that was once a technology dominated. Think about it. A successful non-technical CIO has no choice but to build an organization of great technicians that will help the organization to develop technical solutions for business issues.

The days of a CIO coming up through a technical track are quickly coming to an end.  IT organizations “stuck in the silo” and not working within the business community are doing a disservice to the organization and more than likely hampering the growth of the business. Nowadays a CIO must be very conversant in marketing, finance and accounting–really most of the core business leadership functions in my opinion.

It is myopic to think that a non-technical CIO cannot successfully run an IT organization just as it is myopic to think that a person that is technically competent cannot become a CEO, COO or CFO.

Be sure to read Rachel King’s Bloomberg post.

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One Response to “The role of today’s CIO is changing—why it’s imperative for the success of the organization”

  1. Jerry Says:

    I have always believed in not limiting myself in hiring IT managers to those coming up through the ranks. A non-tradition person with strong management ability who can give you a strong team http://wp.me/p1RYyA-5j is much more important than technical chops. This is becoming more and more true every day.

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