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

Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

Customer experience crisis: Proactively mitigating the risk of broken promises

Last Friday, three weeks after United Airline’s spectacular customer experience disaster, customers received a letter from the company’s CEO, Oscar Munoz.

STOP STEALING BUISNESS CLASS TOILETS from A380, new 787's and A330's!!!!Thats what you call customer experience ONE toilet for all Busine...

Joe

Qantas CMO: What it's taking to evolve our customer experience

Read more

Dare i suggest that a "CEO" role in a peak industry body like Think Brink is not really much of a leap from CMO because it is also a mark...

Sventana

CMO to CEO: Think Brick chief reveals what it takes to make the jump

Read more

Grate post, thanks for the post.No matter what your business is, if you do no not rank among the top most search results of Google, Yahoo...

Rahul

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

Thank you Shane Blandford for carrying my Smarketing vision into KM !

Peter Strohkorb

​CMO Interview: Why aligning sales and marketing drives innovation at Konica Minolta

Read more

Thanks for helping me putting those threads of thoughts together. Simplification and connection - neat idea.

Mark Bayly

Tips from IAG on how to craft human-centred design

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in