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

Blog Posts

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Better the bank you know?

In 2018, only 21 per cent of customers believed that banks in general had their customers best interests at heart and behave ethically. Only 26 per cent believed that banks will keep their promises; views cemented further following the Hayne Financial Services Royal Commission.

Carolyn Pitt

Head of account management, Hulsbosch

What 15 years of emotional intelligence told us about youth media audiences

Taking people on an emotional journey through content is the most critical part of being a publisher. Which is why emotion lies at the heart of VICE Media.

Stephanie Winkler

Head of insights, VICE Asia-Pacific

It's a pretty good idea. I think this integration is useful. Don't you agree?

Misty Stoll

Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration

Read more

ok. so no RCS support? by the way, RCS is a lot bigger than 5G in terms of marketing and monetisation so y'all should be covering it.

DragoCubed

Optus goes for education with 5G network campaign

Read more

Many companies and individual merchants have shifted their major part of marketing to web marketing services Portland as it weighs fewer ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

This is a unique experience! Will be interesting to talk to their managers.

Joyce Harris

​How Krispy Kreme revitalised its brand in a saturated market

Read more

I feel bad for them. It's a shame they are closed now. What do you think about it?

Lisa Deleon

Dick Smith stores set to all close by 30 April

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in