Do today's CIO need to know tech?
- For today's CIO, a mix of business and tech skills is ideal, a number of CIOs told The Enterprisers Project. Several, however, indicated business skills are now more important than tech skills.
- "You can be a CIO with a technical background, but you can’t be a CIO without a business background. If you’ve got a business background and you’re technical, that’s great," said Bill Packer, CIO of American Financial Resources, Inc. "If you’ve got just the technical background, I don’t know if you can really thrive. At the board level, you are talking about solving business problems and taking advantage of business opportunities. You can only do that if you understand the business."
- "CIOs must become disrupters," said Sanjeev Addala, chief digital officer at GE Renewables. "To do that, a combination of technology background and a strong business background is key. They have to become more of a business strategist person than just a pure technologist."
While the question may seem facetious, the role of CIO has changed in the enterprise, with more businesses tech chiefs leading through influence rather than control over technology. As more of today’s CIOs focus on the business and how technology affects business outcomes, they may be better served by background in business and leadership than tech.
No longer is it possible for CIOs to ignore the bottom line when they're IT costing. That business awareness has led CIOs to change their approach in how they run a company's technology, allowing them to grow their corporate influence. With methodologies like TBM, CIOs are running IT as a business and approaching IT costing in a new way. Tehc teams aren't responsible for just changing toner anymore. Now, they have a seat at the table and can help change the business.
- The Enterprisers Project Should CIOs have a technology background? 7 IT leaders weigh in