How double-duty CIOs cope with non-IT responsibilities

CIOs who take on additional business functions are impressive, but how do they they do it all without having a nervous breakdown? The answer: great teams, trusted deputies.

A funny thing happened on the way to CIOs becoming strategic business leaders. Everybody, it seems, landed a second job along the way.

In the past few months, I've talked with many CIOs who are also chief digital officers, chief process officers, chief operating officers or senior vice presidents of various business functions. Their day jobs include activities like leading mergers and acquisitions, or managing supply chains, or developing new products and services, or running global operations.

I'm always suitably impressed (and more than a little amazed) by the expanding workloads these CIO-plus executives are carrying.

But I'm often left wondering how they do it all without having a nervous breakdown.

Our feature story "CIOs Boost Their Careers Doing Double Duty With Non-IT Functions" not only answers my question about the mental health prospects of CIO-plus execs, it also reveals why this trend is thriving and expanding.

"IT already is related to every single part of a business," writes Julia King, a CIO contributing editor. That horizontal, helicopter-view of business processes gives IT leaders the opportunity to "more readily identify business stumbling blocks and innovate process improvements that increase business value."

The key word there is opportunity. The CIOs who step up for double duty are rarely drafted into these roles. They volunteer.

That's what Elizabeth Hackenson of AES did when she approached her CEO about taking on bigger challenges. Now CIO and senior vice president of technology and services, she oversees IT, cybersecurity, corporate services, internal audit, a global insurance group and a new energy business that includes a rooftop solar company. Whew. "A lot of what's been moved under me is stuff where you need strong relationships rather than command and control," Hackenson says. "It's more about influence."

Our story delves into the details of how CIOs manage these expanded roles, which require trusted deputies, high-performing teams and plenty of mentoring. They also broaden the career horizons of the IT group.

Mike Capone, former CIO and head of product development at ADP, noticed how his dual role paved the way for greater talent migration from IT into product development. As IT blends more deeply with business, he says, "CIO is no longer a destination job."

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Top tips to uncovering consumer insights for business innovation

An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.

Matt Whale

Managing director, How To Impact

Is your customer experience program suffering bright shiny object syndrome?

You may have heard of ‘bright shiny object syndrome’. The term is used to describe new initiatives undertaken by organisations that either lack a strategic approach, or suffer from a failure to effectively implement.

Leveraging technology to stand out in the sea of sameness

The technology I'm talking about here is data and marketing automation. Current digital marketing methodology, much as it is practiced at Bluewolf, dictates the need for a strategy that does four things: Finds the right audience, uses the right channel, delivers the right content, and does all of that at the right time.

Eric Berridge

CEO and co-founder of Bluewolf, an IBM Company

Lead Management is very important part of the process. For anyone running Facebook Lead Ads I would recommend using this service.Get your...

Dirk Lo

How this fintech startup is improving content marketing and lead generation

Read more

I am agreeing with Mr. Tyron Hayes that a measured test-and-learn approach could be missing opportunities to not only better engage custo...

rush essay reviews

CMO interview: How Curtin University’s marketing chief is using test and learn to cope with complexity

Read more

Excellent!

Dr Sadasivan,US

Shakespeare shows data and creativity aren’t Montagues and Capulets

Read more

Great article! Agreed with all... Matthew Lerner, Deeps De Silva... When a company has a great product that solves customers needs, a gre...

James Tyler

Why marketers are embracing growth hacking techniques

Read more

Very good article, Social media analytics helps in problem identification. They can serve as an early warning system for negative custome...

BizVinu

Four ways to use social media to boost customer loyalty

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in