CIOs Are Their Own Worst Enemy, Says CIO

Jun 23, 2014

CIOs face a growing number of threats in the coming years, the most prominent of which is themselves, claims one of their number.

Christina Scott, Financial Times (FT) CIO, outlined the top four problems information chiefs are currently facing at the London Internet World event earlier this week.

Mentioning Ade McCormack’s article about the “four horsemen of the CIO apocalypse,” she claimed the first large threat to the CIO is the chief marketing officer (CMO).

The CIO argued that those in her role will attempt to sell “facts” to their CEO or board of directors, whereas a CMO will sell a “vision.”

Because of this, said Scott, CMOs receive more budgetary allowance than CIOs.

The second problem Scott spoke about was the chief financial officer (CFO) – similarly to the CMO “threat,” she worries about the effect financial chiefs cutting budget will have on technology departments.

Another issue CIOs are facing is the CDO (chief digital officer). For Scott, the CDO is an unneeded role – typically, those in this role focus on strategic IT, but Scott argues that organisations only need one CIO – one who is able to deliver both strategic and operational IT.

However, it is the CIO who will “kill the career aspirations of their own people,” said Scott, unless they change their skills to adapt to a changing landscape, as well an improving communication with the rest of the business.

Aspects A CIO Needs To Consider

Scott also added that he believes CIOs should be responsible for all of technology in their business, as well as holding a place on the board.

As well as describing the challenges CIOs face, she also explained the skills she believes are essential for those holding the title.

These include digital skills, communication skills, business acumen, customer understanding, marketing knowledge and a “can-do” attitude.




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