CIO role: Do you have what it takes to be CIO? 7 questions

CIO role: Do you have what it takes to be CIO? 7 questions

So you want to become a Chief Information Officer? Ask these questions about your motives, qualifications, and hopes

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5. Am I comfortable taking the hit for problems I didn’t create?

“The role of the CIO is to be the face of technology for an organization, which means when everything is going great, the CIO will be acknowledged and celebrated for the team’s successes,” says Halpin. “On the flip side, when things are going poorly, the CIO can be the first person that is blamed, even if the issue isn’t directly your fault.” The best CIOs are comfortable taking responsibility for mistakes and other complicated situations.

6. Can I think like a COO?

There is tremendous demand for IT to leverage AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation to streamline workflows across the organization. “Especially in large companies, CIOs need to think like COOs,” says Ross. “They need to find the operational efficiencies ­– think the order-to-cash transformation.”

7. What’s my plan for the organization if I become CIO?

Any IT professional thinking about taking on the CIO role should have some idea about what they would do for the organization. “If you are interviewing for a CIO role, you should be thinking of a timeline and long-term vision of what you can bring to the role,” says Halpin, who suggests thinking about what might be accomplished in the first 90 days, six months, and year.

Think about “where are there opportunities to improve,” Halpin says. “Practice big-picture thinking as it will be a big part of being a CIO.”

IT leaders who are already working in the organization they’d like to take over should consider what they can do to help the business evolve and succeed, says Bonfante. They should also ask whether they will have the relationships and good will with key stakeholders and support from management to drive the necessary changes.

[ Are you leading a team through change? Get our eBook: The Open Organization Guide to IT Culture Change.]


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