Quick Study: The Evolving Roles of CIOs and IT Leaders

Here’s a curated collection of articles that looks at the many hats IT leaders are wearing today.

James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer

October 11, 2023

6 Min Read
colorful paper boats going through a wooden maze
Cagkan Sayin via Alamy Stock

[This article was updated on October 11, 2023 with more recent content]

Those wondering about the role of the CIO in the digital age need only look at the keyword in the middle of the title: Chief "Information" Officer. The corporate world actually isn't just about being “digital” or “data driven”. That digital data represents what the organization actually knows: Information about itself, its customers, and its employees, and how that organization does business moving forward.

So, the CIO that some organizations virtually locked in the data center for years today is involved in everything from payroll to cybersecurity, e-commerce to environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. Their domain extends from coders to clouds.

This Quick Study takes a look at the many hats CIOs may wear these days as recorded by the writers who contribute to InformationWeek. The roles and responsibilities of CIOs have changed dramatically, and surely will continue to shift as the job itself morphs in the years ahead.

CIOs, Their Jobs, and the Expanding C-Suite

Emotional Intelligence: An Often-Overlooked IT Leadership Skill

Strengthening your emotional intelligence can help you become a more effective and respected leader. Getting started is as easy as mastering a few key attributes.

The Value of the Fractional Chief Technology Officer

A fractional CTO can be a great solution to help limit risk, manage teams, and develop cost-effective strategies to help meet the technology demands of an evolving business.

Achieving CIO Balance: IT Meets the Business World

CIOs are being pushed to deliver value to the business and stay on top of technical issues. How can they do both?

2023 IT Salary Report: Pay Increases Despite Economic Pressures

2022 was a boon year for IT salaries. 2023 came in ominously, but that storm is unlikely to last long. Download the free 2023 IT Salary Report here.

5 Tips To Crush It as a First-Time Engineering Manager

Getting hired as an engineering manager for the first time means you’ve already shown you have the right mix of technical experience and people skills. But there are certain things to keep in mind that will help you start on the right foot and avoid some pitfalls of management.

Don't Let Age Mothball Your IT Career

Age is only a number. Don't let a high number cancel your career. How can IT professionals  apply past knowledge and insights to address cutting-edge challenges?

Today’s Blueprint for CIO success: A Shift in Mindset

Chief information officers can help lead organizations through today’s complex macro environment, if they broaden their purview to areas that deliver business outcomes faster.

CIO Roles Disrupted Amid Enterprise Changes

With remote and hybrid workforces, accelerated digital transformation and cloud migration, and the increasing security issues from the other changes, CIOs are facing more complexity and change.

CIOs and the Great Talent Crunch

Taking a Deep Dive into People Skills

The fundamental people skills -- or chops -- are communicating, collaborating, being a team player, and listening, with the ultimate goal as connecting.

Eliminating Remote Work Will Ruin Tech’s Drive for Diversity

Here’s why remote work should continue to be an option available at tech companies to increase diversity and help solve staffing challenges.

Do Women IT Leaders Face a Glass Cliff?

Are organizations more likely to promote women to top IT management posts during hopeless crisis situations? Apparently, yes.

6 Challenges and Opportunities for Hybrid and Remote IT Teams

Remote and hybrid work is here to stay. Employees want the flexibility and ability to ditch the commute, among other benefits. But managers may not like it. What does that mean for IT teams?

4 Ways to Create a Workplace that Fosters Diverse Leaders

Research finds that there aren’t enough women in leadership positions. Here are four ways leaders can create a workplace that fosters more diverse leaders.

Soft Skills: The Ultimate Force Multiplier for IT

As the job market shifts and new doors open, it’s critical for IT leaders to hire talented tech pros who are empathetic, forthcoming, and invested in helping the end user through their work.

CIOs, Innovation, Their Budgets and ROI

The Case for a Fractional CIO

What is a fractional CIO and when does hiring one make sense versus taking on a full-time executive?

IT Leaders as Advocates for Continual Change

While IT leaders have their finger on the pulse of tech advances, it’s crucial to work closely with business leaders ensuring strategy is aligned with business outcomes.

CIOs and the Right Tech in the Right Place

Does Your IT Organization Need an AI Team?

Artificial intelligence is rapidly emerging as an essential enterprise tool. Is it time for IT organizations to form their own dedicated AI teams?

The Key to Startup Success? Bridging Diverse Leadership Skills

Increased economic pressures, coupled with the fast-paced technology market, have created a need for multifaceted leadership to ensure startup success.

CIO Lessons Learned from Southwest Airlines’ Winter Plight

Severe weather and outdated software systems led to an estimated $825M loss at airline, exposing operational risks that can arise if technology is not updated.

5 Ways a CIO Can Assess the IT Landscape in a New Role

Once settled into a new workspace and role, IT leaders can begin to assess how their new department works (and doesn't) in five key areas.

The Voices of Today's CIOs

HP Hunts For New CIO After Guerrier Exit

Ron Guerrier had a special focus on strengthening the Palo Alto, Calif.-based IT behemoth’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Cisco CIO Fletcher Previn on the Hybrid Workplace & Exploring AI

Six months after moving from IBM to Cisco, Previn talks about solving for the needs of the hybrid workplace that can include leveraging AI.

Former Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois Dishes On AI and Future of IT

The industry veteran and author looks beyond hype around generative language models as businesses begin adopting emerging technologies at a feverish pace.

Q&A: Aflac US CIO Shelia Anderson Talks AI, Data, and Cloud

Automating claims processing and other functions currently see more play with the insurer than ChatGPT, but Aflac’s AI journey is still underway.

J&J CIO Jim Swanson: Current IT Projects and Best Career Advice

Write your own job description and then find that job, says Johnson & Johnson EVP and CIO Jim Swanson, who shared his insights about IT careers and provided an overview of J&J's many IT projects in a recent interview.

Q&A: US Patent and Trademark Office's CIO on Cloud and DevSecOps

Jamie Holcombe talks about developing a “software factory” drawing upon DevSecOps methodology and GitLab to help it modernize software development within his agency.

Not A Typical CIO: Lessons Learned as Chief Insights Officer

In today’s customer-driven economy, the role of chief insights officer is one designed to help organizations practice customer-centric thinking.

About the Author(s)

James M. Connolly

Contributing Editor and Writer

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced freelance technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than three decades. He was previously editorial director of InformationWeek and Network Computing, where he oversaw the day-to-day planning and editing on the sites. He has written about enterprise computing, data analytics, the PC revolution, the evolution of the Internet, networking, IT management, and the ongoing shift to cloud-based services and mobility. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. He has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through such publications as Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups at MassHighTech.

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