The role of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) is to set and lead technology strategy. They are the most senior technology executive, providing the executive-level interface between their department and the rest of the business.

There are certain skills that every CIO should possess to be great at their job. Here are five traits that are needed to successfully navigate the world of a CIO in 2020 and beyond.

1. Leadership

A CIO requires a dependable team to drive change. Without the necessary skills to be a good leader, the productivity of teams will be affected. These skills include the ability to support and inspire people, ensuring that they have the resources and mindset to achieve both their individual and collective goals. 

A team needs an enthusiastic and approachable leader to remain motivated and consistently achieve results. CIOs must build mutual trust and respect with their team to meet and exceed expectations. 

2. Collaboration

A successful CIO must nurture good relationships with not only their team, but also external partners and business peers.

It is important to foster a collaborative environment, which should begin with the CIO. They should get to know their team or the people involved in particular projects, which will encourage teamwork. Also, when building a team a CIO must select managers who not only understand the technology but who embrace collaboration.

3. Technologically Adept

As the role of the CIO has evolved, the position can often be held by someone who is less technologically savvy and is more business orientated. A good CIO should ensure that they have sufficient knowledge of enterprise architecture and the direction of technological trends. Being aware of the most up-to-date developments in technology allows a CIO to apply the relevant IT strategies to drive business innovation.

4. Business Acumen

A successful CIO must balance being technologically adept with having the acumen to lead business transformation. Visionary plans and goals with a clear strategy, coupled with knowledge of where technology sits within the business solution, will allow a CIO to become an influential member of a company’s senior team.

5. Communication

Outstanding communication skills are critical for most senior roles and being a successful CIO is no different. They are important for maintaining a good working relationship with teams and fellow business leaders.

Being a good communicator also applies to verbal and presentation skills. CIOs are increasingly expected to have a significant presence in the boardroom, which means being skilled in articulating complex ideas clearly and confidently is a key part of the job.

As the role of a CIO evolves, staying ahead of the game by conquering these five traits will ensure success. Balancing business drive with technical knowledge is key in driving an organization’s transformation with the support of a motivated team that thrives upon collaboration.

Read our blog about 3 challenges facing today’s CIO. Find out more about K2 Partnering Solutions and our consultative staffing solutions.


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