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Look Who’s Running IT Now!

Ultimately, the most qualified person should receive a job. If a circus clown happens to have all the skills to be a great senator, then maybe the clown deserves the job. It will worry or maybe anger the people who tried taking a more traditional route to that job though. Likewise, it is becoming a growing trend for the path to CIO to be paved by non-traditional CIO career paths. In a post for Forrester, Brian Baker reveals who is really running IT now.

The New CIO Paths

Organizations are beginning to look at line-of-business leaders to become CIO. Additionally, there has been a great number of digital channel or eCommerce experts that have climbed their way to CIO prestige. This change in leadership candidates is driven by the need for more than just getting the “table stakes” right. According to the 2015 report The New Breed of CIO, “Effective CIOs will spread outside-in thinking, agile delivery and a sense-and-respond culture to deliver digital success.” CEOs need for their teams to deliver great results, and if they feel their CIOs are lacking, they will find people who can deliver the results they desire.

The line-of-business leader is an excellent candidate for CIO because they already have credibility with the C-suite and the board, and they can learn technology management. Additionally, line-of-business leader to CIO is an excellent succession path to endorse in a company.

The digital channel or eCommerce expert is an excellent candidate for CIO as well, especially in industries such as retail. It is often easier for a digital expert to learn the technology side, than for a technology-driven individual to learn the digital side.

If you are already a CIO and worried about the security of your position, there are a few actions you can take to preserve your career. First and foremost, you need to make the customer the most important thing and put them at the forefront of everything you do. You can also develop strategies to address what Forrester calls its “Six Levers of the Customer Obsessed Operating Model.” Finally, you should know where exactly you stand in the company presently. Ignorance is not bliss.

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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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