The Chief Information Officer in any company is more than just a technology-savvy employee, and more than a great leader. A CIO needs components of both, making them as rare as they are valuable.
So how do you spot one of these dual-capability employees? There are five signs of a CIO who will successfully manage the technology department and those who work there.
1. A genuine love of technology
They say that those who love what they do will never work a day in their life. While this is the dream situation for any individual, it’s also a great goal for companies to look for when it comes time to hire a CIO.
Anyone who loves technology will constantly be on the lookout for exciting new trends and ideas in the field. They will relish in learning more about old and new software and hardware, and they will delight in teaching others about their own passion for the topic.
2. The ability to learn
Technology is one of the fastest-growing fields on the planet in terms of things to learn and trends to follow. One person cannot keep up with it all, but they can be open to learning about as much of it as possible from anyone.
When new staff join the company in the department, they will no doubt come with fresh knowledge either from recent training or other companies. A dream CIO will be the first to ask them to pass on anything they can so the entire team can benefit.
3. Knowledge of their workers
A dream CIO is one who knows everything there is to know professionally about the IT workers in the department. What their strengths are, their weaknesses, their technology interests and their goals.
With someone at the reins who knows such details about the employees doing the majority of the work, they will better be able to delegate the right tasks to the right people, incentivise staff with rewards that really motivate them, and ensure any opportunity to work with new technology is available for the right people.
Such skills are highly beneficial for the happiness of the staff themselves, as well as for the operation of the department and the success of the company as a whole.
4. Rapport with the CMO
The stereotype of the constantly strained relationship between a company’s CIO and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a famous one. This bond is increasingly important as their two fields collide to bring the ultimate in customer service and satisfaction, yet when these departments don’t see eye-to-eye, it can affect the whole company.
A study from Deloitte earlier this year shows that when this relationship is a good one, the organisations “with the most mature collaborations tend to be the most successful in driving the performance of their teams and of customer-focused initiatives”.
5. Communication skills
While communication is essential for any great leader, it’s even more important for a CIO. The content of their emails, calls, presentations, meetings and other communications is often quite technological, in-depth or advanced. To turn all of that knowledge into understandable messages for everyone from the other department heads to the director of the company, the CIO needs to be able to communicate in a way that gets the message across without being overly complicated.