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Just What Do CIOs Do All Day, Anyway?

CIO is a fancy job title, but what exactly does it mean to have such authority in the company? In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels elaborates on what it is that the CIO does and why this position is so important.

A Swath of Responsibilities

A CIO needs to possess the ability to do more than think about which tools or services would reap the greatest benefits. They need to be able to illustrate to people outside of IT the benefits of the assets they are presenting. There needs to be a certain level of transparency so that everyone is aware of precisely what IT is working on.

A CIO is a position of importance and leadership, and as a result, they carry accountability for the IT practices being administered. Leadership also means that the CIO needs to possess great ability to communicate effectively and keep the focus of the company where it needs to be for success. The CIO will have a great deal of interactions with people, so they need to remain to be a trusted face. CIOs also have the added responsibility of educating and informing in regards to the technology used and why it is beneficial.

Technology knowledge alone is no longer enough. The CIO needs to express opinions and insights on other business operations when asked in a board meeting. This may involve stepping outside the norms of comfort, but it will ultimately help for the other executives to view the CIO as a more serious player.

What will separate the great IT leaders from the subpar ones is how they split their time. Sixty percent of an IT leader’s focus should be on “people issues,” or things like communication and mentoring. Twenty-five percent should be directed towards making improvements for the business. The final bit of focus should be IT performance management issues.

CIOs are becoming jacks of all trades and they need to diversify their interests to truly be successful. You can read the original article:

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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