The role of a chief information officer

yellow-walk

Many people mistakenly believe that the title of chief information officer (CIO) is synonymous with head computer guy in a company. In reality, the role of a chief information officer is much more involved.

"CIOs typically serve as a bridge, conveying technology-related information and knowledge between the many departments of a company. This key position usually is in place to help solve problems within a business." said Lance Maree, Associate Director of IT recruitment at Robert Walters.

CIOs are responsible for the overall function of technology of their organisation. They propose the required information technology, create a plan, and implement that plan within the organisation, while supporting the technical needs of employees and ensure they are adequately trained on new technologies.

They propose the required information technology, create a plan, and implement that plan within the organisation, while supporting the technical needs of employees and ensure they are adequately trained on new technologies.

They delegate technical decisions to a variety of employees and ensure tasks are successfully completed. CIO’s observe many different activities in all departments and use a variety of information to project future needs and issues. Typically, they identify problem areas and implement strategies to effectively solve problems.

Many companies and organisations in a variety of sectors rely on information technology to support and achieve their objectives. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is a job title for the head of information technology within an organisation, responsible for the overall operation of information technology and computer systems. The CIO typically reports to either the chief financial officer or, in IT- centred organisations, to the chief executive officer. As information technology and systems have become more important, the CIO has come to be viewed in many organisations  as a key contributor in formulating strategic goals.

A bachelor's degree is necessary, however CIOs typically need at least a master degree in information systems, computer science, network management, or other related field. CIOs will usually complete various courses throughout their career on information systems, information technology, business administration, computer science, and network management careers to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in their industry.

Many aspiring CIOs complete internships to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. Most CIOs begin their careers in lower positions and advance to executive positions as they acquire the necessary skills and experience. Practical experience, knowledge and expertise gained over time are a must, and most CIOs have long successful careers behind them once they reach executive status.

CIOs must have a solid understanding of business processes and how to apply a variety of technologies to strategies and operations. Motivation, self-confidence, good judgment, and sharp negotiation skills are essential. CIOs must also have excellent communication and leadership skills as well as great business acumen and the ability to make executive decisions to benefit the whole business. 

Looking to make the next move in your IT career? Search all our current IT jobs available.

Know your worth, download the Robert Walters Salary Survey.

Or if you have a friend looking for a new job, why not be rewarded for recommending Robert Walters? Learn more about our excellent referral scheme and refer your friend today.

For more career advice please contact:

Rob Nel, Associate Director
lance.maree@robertwalters.com
+27 (0) 11 881 2407

blue-sharp-angles

Set up a targeted

job alert

Read more »