Home > IT Management, Leadership, Management > CIO – What’s a successful profile for the Career Is Over, dude (or dudette)?

CIO – What’s a successful profile for the Career Is Over, dude (or dudette)?

Recently, there’s been some postings around on IT, CIOs and it got me thinking of a few things of what it takes for one to be “successful” in this role. Not to be deliberately depressing about it – but my honest feeling is that CIO types (your title could be as simple as “IT manager” to “CIO”) face “probation day” every day. Success is akin to having another day to do your job. One’s view of this journey is probably affected greatly at what stage you are in it and in my grasshopper stage*

Take a look at some postings —
1. In the LinkedIn Group: CIOs.com – Chief Information Officer Network, Patrick Gray asks a highly provocative question: Is IT partially to blame for the financial crisis? Astounding to me that one could even ask the question but …

I happen to like Patrick’s provocative style even though I do strongly disagree with some of his positions. You can catch him at his entertaining TechRepublic Blog.

2. Paul Ritchie’s musings on Manager-Leader Gap in IT strategy. A look into CIO’s archetypes and possible success criterias. In it Paul references Long Huynh’s (a real Pai Mei IT Guy) excellent CIO blog, CIO Assistant. Must read Long’s 2 articles: 3 Steps to a Successful CIO and 3 Essential Roles of a CIO.

3. Some googling around and I got these interesting references:

4. Arun Manansingh is a new CIO blogger and he just posted, Qualities an IT Manager Should Possess. His 4 points really resonated with me in its comprehensiveness and simplicity.

So, coming back to my question…I don’t know the answer and I don’t feel even close to competent answering it. I think (believe?) that success depends on whether or not you’ll be asked to continue keeping those blinking lights going. And your ability to do that is dependent on many of the factors the above authors and thinkers have written. My contributions to success would revolve around the ability of one to build the right IT team which I mused about here, here, and here.

*This grasshopper terminology came from Kung Fu TV series:

  1. May 17, 2009 at 6:46 PM

    Another great post. This should be reading for anyone striving to be a success in IT whether or not they carry the CIO (Career Is Okay) title or not and even those that carry the title should read. We all can learn to better ourselves and be better professionals. Like I said on my blog, IT should be organic, changing, growing, evolving….

  2. May 17, 2009 at 7:08 PM

    Thanks for the reference to the CIO Assistant blog. As a servant to those whose calling in life lies in the IT field, I would offer the humble views from someone who has been there, done that and had a few scars to show.

  3. May 17, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    The following material provides ideas for how a CIO and CIO-led community can establish and grow their relevance – “The Role of the CIO,” which is available via a link at http://thomasjbuckholtz.wordpress.com/publications-books-drafts/ . The questionnaire therein is based on a “Direct Outcomes” thinking tool.

  4. May 24, 2009 at 6:28 PM

    Many thanks Thomas, for providing links to your drafts and views in Direct Outcomes as well as the CIO 360-degree questionnaire. The information there can definitely improve ourselves to be more effective and valuable to our organizations.

  5. May 24, 2009 at 6:29 PM

    Hi Long,

    Thanks for reading my bumpy journey and look forward to catching more of your blogging. Much of my current challenges and experiences seem to track pretty well with your writings…I suppose the more things change, the more things stay the same!


  6. May 24, 2009 at 6:30 PM


    Appreciate the kind words. I agree with your views on the organic nature of IT. One must be a student in many things to keep up with the ever changing and evolving nature of IT.

    Many thanks,

  7. May 30, 2009 at 8:13 AM
  8. May 31, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    Dear CIO readers,

    An interesting article Is the CIO Crisis Here? by Arthur Langer from CIO Insight.

    It’s the first take on having a “professional” body representing CIOs types more “legitimacy”.

    Here’s a small rant on CIO’s and their unworthiness by Steven Levy. Steven references the above CIO Insight article as a jumping point. At the end of the day, “IT-Business Partnership Leader” isn’t so bad, but it does really change the kind of “service” IT is supposed to deliver and how it is to deliver it.

    Happy reading,

  9. June 5, 2009 at 11:37 PM

    Like any functions that are pervasive and open to competition, it is normal that the usefulness of IT is questioned from time to time. The onus is on its commander-in-chief, the CIO, to convince people of the IT relevance. Just ask the U.S. Marine Corp – read more about it here: http://tinyurl.com/oh2bu8.

    Btw, the CIO Assistant’s Blog has moved to a new home: http://tao-of-living.com/blog/.

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