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The CIO Role, and why it's time to up your game...

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The CIO Role, and why it's time to up your game...

There’s been an increasing pressure on the traditional CIO role in recent years and it’s putting the job at risk for many in the future if they don’t up their game.

For some, the CDO (Chief Data Officer), has side-stepped into or absorbed the CIO role with their highly valued skills in data. For other CIOs, they’re seeing a large and worrying number of businesses choosing to run without an IT leader on the board (only 2% of FTSE companies have a Chief of IT at the table). Either way, those who have worked hard to achieve the level of CIO can’t afford to rest now if they are to futureproof their careers and convince their employers of their value at C Level.

Supporting tech talent teams for established companies and fast-growing start-ups in the disruptive space, here is what we consider to be the five most desirable attributes of a CIO: 

The 5 Top Skills of a Chief Information Officer

1.    You must be able to demonstrate strong business acumen and a deep understanding of the growth strategy of the business. Only then will you be able to direct that company on the technical decisions they need to make to achieve their strategic objectives.

2.    You must know about tomorrow’s digital platforms and devices. You need to be one step ahead of new tech if you are to steer innovation and leverage the power of new solutions to help the organisation achieve efficient and competitive digital transformation.

3.    Understand the company culture across departments. By demonstrating knowledge and empathy for how everyone within the business uses tech and how each will be affected by digital transformation, your expertise will become instantly relevant to the overarching corporate strategy. Your role needs to have a holistic, big picture view to be a successful.

4.    You should demonstrate your expertise and passion outside of the company and develop your own personal brand. Write about it, speak about it and become known for what you know! The stronger your brand, the more credible you’ll be at board level.

5.    Take a few strings from others bows at C level and build on your skills. The CDO is taking the place of many CIOs thanks to GDPR. How can you build on your skillset with knowledge on data, for example? What can you learn from the Chief Digital Officer or Chief Marketing Officer from a tech perspective? Become indispensable – don’t box yourself in too tightly to the old CIO role. This new one is evolving!


If you want to know where to begin, try looking at current job listings for CIOs and CDOs and a starting point.

Are you a CIO struggling in your career? Get in touch with our team to discuss options and opportunities

Contact a Talent Partner.