CIOs hold data 'keys to the kingdom'

Chief Information Officer DNA: Are CIOs "Type O"?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

Are CIOs "Type O"? 

American Red Cross underscores that “there is always a need for Type O donors because their blood may be transfused to a person of any blood type in an emergency.” 

Type O blood is the “universal blood type” and serves as a fine metaphor for the CIO who “understands the universality of a business,” so believes Allan Hackney, former CIO, AIG Consumer Finance Group. 

Hackney shared his insights on the business impact of CIOs within the enterprise at a panel this evening in New York City: “Next Generation CIOs,” led by Tom Oser, President, Oser & Company Consulting. 

Joining Hackney to share their views on CIOs, past, present and future were:

Harry Waellessa, CEO, The W Group, formerly CIO of Campbell Soup Company
Tom Gilley, CTO, Vidavee, formerly Founder of Apple Technology Group Concept Itegration Labs,
Martha Heller - Managing Director, ZR Group IT Executive Recruiting 

Oser framed the discussion by underscoring that IT executives hold the “keys to the kingdom” because they provide “access to the data.”

The CIO is not simply “managing a data center” but must strive to be a full partner across all business functions to drive shareholder value within the enterprise, Waellessa said. IT ought to be run like a business with CIOs “making money by using technology,” he believes.

For Gilley, the product development process offers a framework for technology innovation. 

“Owning data can be a career catalyst” within the enterprise, Heller said. Data based opportunities are helping CIOs move up to the COO level, and then to CEO.

A successful CIO will excel in three areas, Oser put forth: 

1) Sector domain expertise,
2) Networking with functional leaders,
3) Evangelizing within the organization.

Heller offered a variety of desirable CIO skills and qualities:

Change management,
Organizational leadership,
Relationship building,
IT is a business mindset,
Financial acumen,
Risk management,
Iterative, learning approach

What about a core knowledge of IT? It is a CIO given.

Editorial standards