6 Tips for Hiring a CIO

Truly great Chief Information Officers are a rare breed. The very best CIOs are the ones that have a unique understanding of the business’s needs, but also have  the chops of the hottest technologist. Many executive suites become dens of techno-speak with CIO’s espousing technical jargon and keeping the CEO from making informed decisions.

During recent conversations with chief executives as well as a friend looking for a CIO role, I came up with a list of 6 tips for hiring a great CIO.

1. Great CIOs have the ability to manage multiple projects. They can juggle a number of projects while at the same time keeping their eye on the priorities of the department and the company.

2. Great CIO’s understand how the company makes money. They link their technology portfolio with the key management indicators of the company.

3. Great CIOs understand portfolio management. They have the ability to understand where and when the company needs to invest. Their technology portfolio is based on the needs of the company.

4. Great CIOs understand how to attract and retain great employees. Many companies, especially those outside of that technology sector, find it difficult to attract great technical talent. CIOs who can create the right environment are worth their weight in gold.

5. Great CIOs must also be able to manage change. Many CIOs have the ability to manage tasks but have not developed the ability to manage change. Implementing a new internal system on time and on schedule is important, however, making sure everyone knows how to use the new system will be the difference between success and failure.

6. Great CIOs must be great communicators. They must be able to get their points across clearly.  They must be able to turn complex technical concepts into strategies and actions that a company can fully understand and implement.

There you go … six tips that will keep the CIO’s eye on the business and not just on the technology.

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