e-skills: CIO – Competent Information Officer
Most people acknowledge that IT has a role to play in organisations. Some see it as a cost-management tool, some see it as a mechanism to facilitate communication and a few even see it as a game-changing tool.
A highly competent CIO can deliver all three. But what do we mean by competent?
There is no CIO ISO standard that tells us exactly what skills, knowledge and attitude a CIO should possess? Thus learning and development functions along with their training partners do not know where their focus should be in supporting those in an IT leadership position.
MBAs seem to have lost interest and tend to bundle IT into some overlapping subject such as operations management. Clearly IT is not a draw for our Economist-reading future leaders.
There appears to be two options:
- Continue as we are and leave CIO development to chance
- Get industry agreement on what constitutes a competent CIO and use that as the basis to build a CIO support industry.
The former will slow up the rate at which business and society harnesses optimal value from their IT investment. The trouble with the latter is that it requires cooperation across countries, sectors and competitive demilitarised zones. This isn’t going to happen in the short term.
Next best thing is to identify role models within given segments. Reverse engineer their competences into a specification and then build the next generation of CIOs in that image. Over time one of these initiatives may become the de facto standard.
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