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Quick Study: The Evolving Roles of CIOs and IT LeadersQuick Study: The Evolving Roles of CIOs and IT Leaders

The roles and responsibilities of chief information officers have changed dramatically, and will continue to shift as the job itself morphs in the years ahead. Here’s a curated collection of articles that looks at the many hats IT leaders are wearing today.

James M. Connolly

September 27, 2022

6 Min Read
ladders of success against a bright red wall
ImagesRouges via Alamy Stock

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

CIO Moves: Deere & Co's New CIO Talks Strategy, Trends, and Career Paths

The agricultural and construction equipment giant has named two insiders as CIO and CFO as it looks toward the mega trends of sustainability and automation.

How CIOs Can Create Cohesive Teams That Accelerate Transformation

To achieve continuous transformation, chief information officers must shift the focus of their teams away from working in silos. Here’s how PwC says to do it.

The Evolution of the CIO

As companies move deeper into the digital economy, they expect more than ever from their chief information officers.

The Restructuring CIO: Transforming How IT Works

Here are the foundations of how technology teams are set up and how chief information officers can help their businesses succeed through transformation of the IT organization, per Accenture.

CIO, CDO and CTO: The 3 Faces of Executive IT

First there was the chief information officer, and then companies started adding chief data officers and chief technology officers. What strategic deliverables do companies expect from their IT leaders?

Pros and Cons of Being a CIO at a Non-Profit Entity

For those private sector CIOs considering the move, there are several important differences to understand, such as tight budgets and small staffs, but also a spirit of cooperation.

LogMeIn CIO: The Art of Integrating Acquisitions

LogMeIn has integrated 10 acquisitions and divested two business units over the last five years. The company's CIO shares his secrets on how to do M&A successfully.

6 Tips for IT Pros Aspiring to Be a Modern-Day CIO

The job responsibilities of a chief information officer are not what they once were. Today, it’s all about being a well-rounded business leader. Here’s some advice.

Interim CIOs Favored as Organizations Seek Digitalization Push

Pressure to modernize the tech stack is a key driver of the demand for interim CIOs, who can serve as targeted change agents.

Can CIOs Become CEOs?

IT is still viewed as a support function that is not central to the business. This can make it difficult for CIOs to ascend to CEO positions, but not impossible.


How CIO Roles Will Change: The Future of Work

Budgets will shift, and IT leaders must collaborate with HR and facilities teams as work continues to move from office centers to a new work-from-anywhere structure.

Optimizing the CIO and CFO Relationship

The CIO-CFO dynamic has undergone some changes over the past 10 years. What are these changes and how do they influence corporate dynamics?

Why CIOs Are Positioned to Lead the Sustainability Agenda

By taking on these six strategies, chief information officers can steer transformation and elevate their role within the C-suite, according to EY.

CIO Role Expands into Company Culture, Customer Experience

As the pandemic drove more transactions and work online, the enterprise CIO's role expanded to be more focused on business, customers, and employee culture.

CIO Best Practices for Communicating about Disaster

When disaster strikes, your public relations plan can be just as important as your disaster recovery plan. Here are three best practices for CIOs.

The Rise of the ‘Fractional’ CMO and the Role CIOs Play

A fractional CMO can help organizations target certain aspects of their business, but close coordination and cooperation with the CIO or CDO is critical to success.

CIOs and the Great Talent Crunch

How to Nurture Talent and Protect Your IT Stars

In an era where the fight for IT talent is fierce and demand is exploding across all industries, organizations must look to create opportunities for training and nurturing their specialists.

Technology as a Competitive Edge in the Battle for Talent

What technology and tools should companies be leveraging to be truly competitive in the battle for talent?

IT Job Market Still Strong, But Economic Headwinds Complicate Picture

Despite talk of an impending recession and hiring freezes by tech industry leaders, the IT hiring market is still strong, with a high percentage of companies saying they are adding new IT staff.

The Role CIOs Play in Retaining Employees Amid the Great Resignation

With support from the CIO, business leaders can continue to push for disruptive technologies in the workplace if they want to avoid falling victim to the Great Resignation, according to PwC.

CIOs, Innovation, Their Budgets and ROI

CIOs: Stop Spending on Bad Tech

US IT departments waste $85B yearly on bad tech. Chief information officers must assess their tech stack to prevent deeper debt and the potential added cost of attrition.

Why CIOs Need to Be Even More Dominant in the C-Suite Right Now

Shifts in today’s economy demand that all C-levels sharpen their investments to focus on returns, and chief information officers will need to support these changing business conditions as IT takes center stage.

Why Hard Times Seem to Spur Technology Innovation

When times get tough, technology gets going. Is this true, or just a popular misconception?

CIOs and the Right Tech in the Right Place

How to Select the Right AI Projects

Why isn’t AI delivering on all that IT promised it would? Gartner highlights three key questions that IT leaders should consider when they are approached with new ideas for artificial intelligence.

How IT Leaders Can Adopt an Automation Mindset

Too often, IT pros focus on one-off problems instead of leveraging automation to drive long-term innovation. IT leaders should adopt the big-picture mindset of a Formula 1 champion.

Understanding Metaverse’s Potential Business Opportunities

Organizations must understand how the addition of a metaverse experience would factor into their customer's decision-making processes and brand experience.

AI Is Now Mature Enough to Drive Revenue Growth

Some companies have made a breakthrough in using artificial intelligence to spur innovation and growth, not just for cost savings. Their advanced AI maturity has five success factors, according to Accenture.

CIOs Turn to the Cloud as Tech Budgets Come Under Scrutiny

With a lot of uncertainty still ahead, businesses that can invest in flexible systems, like the cloud, should do so -- but chief information officers must deploy resources tactically.

CIO Agenda: Cloud, Cybersecurity, and AI Investments Ahead

Enterprises that employed “business composability” were more likely to succeed during the volatility caused by the pandemic, according to Gartner. That volatility is here to stay, so now is the time to get ready for it.

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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