Wednesday, April 2, 2014

CIO Skills: 5 Essential Competencies- A Must Have for Today's CIO

There are several articles published on the topic of leadership competencies that today's CIO must possess in order to be perceived as successful by the business. I have compiled a list of 5 Essential Competencies - A Must Have for Today's CIO in this article.  Today, as  IT is increasingly viewed by the business as a key contributing enabler to expand its competitive edge and drive market share,  it is creating a fundamental shift in paradigm on the CIO's role from a traditional - technical - digital role to that of a strategic business partner in the organization. To be successful during this transformation, a CIO must conscientiously develop an innovative mindset  combined with new capabilities that will help drive the business value and reshape the way IT does business.

Below are 5 Essential Competencies that are must have for today's CIO:

1) Strategic Aligner: A powerful strategist thoroughly understands and has the know-how to use available knowledge with the right dose of tact and influence to make things happen with the highest outcome for success.  Not everyone can be a powerful strategist, but it certainly can be a learned competency that can be perfected over a period of time. A strategic aligner is an individual that links the goals of business to it strategy to achieve measurable outcomes.

CIO Skills 5 Essential Competencies for CIO image - Strategy Execution Success
2) Diverse Technology know-how: Some CIO's are either experts in a particular technology domain and tend to be biased in their decision making, some CIO's are hired for their strong leadership expertise with a generalist technology background, some others have been promoted within the ranks and as a result may or may not be exposed to the newest technology trends or product offerings to make effective decisions. Hence, it is important that no matter what the case, it is important for today's CIO to have not only a diverse technology know-how, but also, to understand how to align with the business's overall strategic vision. Sometimes the lack of this competency can be fulfilled by hiring a trusted technology adviser or by developing an internal emerging center of excellence practice within the organization.

3) Trailblazer: A trailblazer is someone that sets foot first on something new and that has not been done before. As leaders, they pave the way for exploring new markets, while taking calculated risks and transforming organizations. An organization cannot continue to remain sustainable in business with outdated processes and technologies.  There maybe some of you that would disagree with this, but I think this is an important skill for any CIO to have. As a trailblazer, you are not just putting the business first and technology second, but you are also focused on delivering value to your customer through continuous improvement.

4) Relationship Builder & Ambassador: An important skill to have for any individual, and not just for a CIO. But, it is a critical skill required for every CIO! In today's modern corporate ecosystems, if your CIO is not perceived by your business leaders as someone who can effortless build bridges, foster new relationships and strengthen  existing ones, his or her success within that organization can be challenging.  Relationship building needs to occur at every level in the organization. A competent CIO should be effortless able to deliver on a balanced matrix of tangible, intangible, organizational and personal aspects of value customized to their specific business customer–to build an authentic and trusted partnership.

5) Corporate Finance know-how: Strong basic to intermediate knowledge of corporate finance is essential for any CIO. It is important that you know how to interpret the data accurately to help make sound decisions. Relying solely on the sources supplying you the data, can be hazardous.  Understanding and speaking the same language that your business and financial partners speak is very helpful.

I hope that found this blog article on the topic of 5 Essential Competencies for today's CIO helpful. Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? Please leave your comments below!

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