Chief Information Officers are responsible for both high-level business strategy and detailed technology decisions, making the job among the toughest in business.
The high incidence of IT failure demonstrates the extreme difficulty of juggling business and technology goals that are sometimes in direct conflict with each other. Unfortunately, many CIOs seem to get tied in knots over this issue.
Given all this trouble, here's a self-test for CIOs, based on a Tech Republic article. See whether you qualify for the top technology job in your organization:
- You are uncomfortable working with senior management. It would be a real problem if you aren’t comfortable working with senior management since, as CIO, you are senior management.
- The concepts of financial management totally elude you. It’s common for the IT budget to represent anywhere from 3% to 5% of the total expenses in a company. Financial management is a major part of the CIO’s job.
- You have no desire to participate in business strategic planning. It is the job of the CIO to understand all of the aspects of the marketplace in which the company participates to help it effectively use information technology to address these challenges.
- Any kind of change drives you crazy. As the CIO, you are the company’s primary change agent.
- You think SOX is a garment. The CIO must understand all aspects of compliance requirements and issues. As CIO, you will be required to assist the company in avoiding the liabilities associated with noncompliance with these regulations.
- To you, asset management and building management are the same things. The CIO must understand asset life cycles and the techniques for managing assets through their life cycle. The CIO also needs to know the value of those assets and must be able to manage them efficiently.
- The idea of selling anything scares you to death. A CIO should not be frightened of selling or the sales process; it’s a large part of the job.
- Indecision is one of your strong points. A CIO is required to make hundreds of decisions a day. Some are popular; some are not so popular.
- You’re really skilled in one key area of information technology. The CEO and the rest of the senior management team are going to expect you to be the senior information technology person. Therefore, they will just assume that you are knowledgeable in all areas of IT. You and I both know that’s impossible. The key is to develop an understanding of the different technologies and surround yourself with experts in each.
- You believe that CIO stands for “career is over.” [M]any CIOs are progressing to the CEO position within their company. So if you think that becoming a CIO is the end of your career, you may want to rethink whether you have what it takes to be a CIO.
Do you have what it takes to manage conflicting CIO demands without your arms getting tied in knots? Leave a comment and let us know.