- As companies search for new CIOs in 2021, individual determination and sensitivity will become key personal traits in 70% of hiring processes, according to a Gartner survey published Tuesday. The study consulted 93 members of the Gartner CIO Research Circle.
- The demand for candidates who show "determination" increased 34% in 2020, when compared to previous year. Demand for "sensitivity" among CIO candidates grew by 92% in 2020 versus 2019.
- Unsettled by what the future holds, CEOs will need determined CIOs to "implement timely decisions, while displaying emotional dexterity to be tactful and supportive," said Daniel Sanchez-Reina, senior research director at Gartner, in a release.
Companies aiming to fill their CIO seat in the new year will be searching for a different kind of tech leader than in years past, a shift partly informed by the pressures of the pandemic. Atop the shopping list are qualities that describe the CIO as an even-keeled leader, one who is assertive while showing flexibility and empathy.
As CIOs develop their leadership in the C-suite, the people-side of the role expands in importance, said Dianne Lapierre, CIO at Absolute Software. It was one of the lessons from the remote work shift.
"Technology is the easy part these days," said Lapierre. "The challenges are understanding the interaction of people with technology."
In 2021, companies will entrust technology leaders with more aspects of their business, relying on them to accurately track business metrics and shape strategy. Analysts expect executives in this role to equip companies with the flexibility to change course when neede.
"So much of what business depends on these days is the technology," Lapierre said. "All the business leaders definitely looked to us as CIOs to support the work that they needed to do." This function will continue to be a part of the CIO role in the coming years, said Lapierre.
The demand for tech-driven insight is present atop executive leadership. Four in every 10 CEOs expect CIOs or equivalent tech leaders to play the role of a key business strategist, more so than COOs, CFOs, or CMOs combined, according to Deloitte's Tech Trends report.
The CIO of the future will have an expanded scope, overseeing troves of critical data and becoming responsible for operational results. It is becoming more common for the executive to report directly to the CEO, another sign of elevated responsibility within the company ranks