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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

Hey there! Very interesting article, thank you for your input! I found particularly interesting the part where you mentioned that certain...

Martin Valovič

Companies don’t have policies to disrupt traditional business models: Forrester’s McQuivey

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

The biggest concern is the lack of awareness among marketers and the most important thing is the transparency and consent.

Joe Hawks

Data privacy 2021: What should be front and centre for the CMO right now

Read more

Thanks for giving these awesome suggestions. It's very in-depth and informative!sell property online

Joe Hawks

The new rules of Millennial marketing in 2021

Read more

In these tough times finding an earning opportunity that can be weaved into your lifestyle is hard. Doordash fits the bill nicely until y...

Fred Lawrence

DoorDash launches in Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Highlights of 2020 deliver necessity for Circular Economies

The lessons emerging from a year like 2020 are what make the highlights, not necessarily what we gained. One of these is renewed emphasis on sustainability, and by this, I mean complete circular sustainability.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Have customers really changed?

The past 12 months have been a confronting time for marketers, with each week seemingly bringing a new challenge. Some of the more notable impacts have been customer-centric, driven by shifting priorities, new consumption habits and expectation transfer.

Emilie Tan

Marketing strategist, Alpha Digital

Cultivating engaging content in Account-based Marketing (ABM)

ABM has been the buzzword in digital marketing for a while now, but I feel many companies are yet to really harness its power. The most important elements of ABM are to: Identify the right accounts; listen to these tracked accounts; and hyper-personalise your content to these accounts to truly engage them. It’s this third step where most companies struggle.

Joana Inch

Co-founder and head of digital, Hat Media Australia

Sign in