MANY CHIEF information officers (CIOs) have earned the right to be considered candidate for CEO posts, but it will take more than technical expertise to secure the top job, says James Chambers, senior editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit.
The modern CIO has a strategic role that goes beyond just managing the IT function. A CIO should be involved in all business-critical decisions at an early stage, said a recent report by the EIU sponsored by Hitachi Data Systems.
CIOs have won the respect of their business, particularly during the past year when they helped firms cut costs by being more efficient, but reaching the next level will be difficult.
Neville Vincent, senior vice president and general manager for Asia-Pacific at Hitachi Data Systems, said last week that CIOs need to take the next step and contribute to business growth by developing new products or services and generating revenue.
Chambers said innovation was a key driver of revenue growth, and it was the CIO’s role to drive it.
Innovation has been a major driver of revenue growth at almost three in five companies surveyed. This relationship is expected to continue on an uptrend.
To succeed, CIOs need an accurate idea of how existing IT assets can increase their organisation’s revenue, and not just focus on making better business cases for yet more technology.
For a CIO to follow in a CEO’s footsteps, he will need to take ownership of information, better align with business needs and focus on driving innovation forward.
The report surveyed 1,000 senior executives from 13 economies – Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and six Asean members.