Top Traits a CIO must have to become successful

Anita Kukreja, Head - Marketing & Channel Sales, IceWarp
Anita Kukreja, Head - Marketing & Channel Sales, IceWarp

Chief Information Officer (CIO) is a company executive who is responsible for managing, implementing and using information and computer technologies. Due to the heavy use of technology in every field in today’s time, the role of the CIO has increased in terms of importance and popularity. CIO helps in understanding how a company can benefit from improving the latest technology in their processes which can reap benefits in the long term. Big corporations and organizations look for a successful CIO who can lead them technologically, keeping them one step ahead of the competition. But what are the traits that make a successful CIO. The following 5 attributes are the ones that are commonly found in successful CIOs and others must have them too.

Transformational Leadership

Major organizations generally prefer CIOs who can become transformational leaders, possessing a vision and the ability to develop innovative technological strategies that support future growth opportunities. Transformational leaders inspire their teams to embrace change, innovate, and shape the future of the entire organizational structure.


A resourceful CIO is able to blend prior experiences such as accepted frameworks, methodologies, and cultural and political landscapes. In essence, a CIO when effectively using resourcefulness is in the best position to challenge the current paradigm of the enterprise and chart the path forward. Top enterprises expect that their CIOs possess the knowledge and creativity to overcome even the most challenging barriers. The best way to become resourceful is through direct experience gathered throughout an IT career, particularly experiences that spurred organizational changes.

Data-Centric Mindset

Data is the new gold and forms the fabric that enables major enterprises to produce game-changing outcomes. Whether it’s developing and deploying strategies, selecting vendors, or rolling out new enablement efforts, top-tier CIOs must keep asking themselves a single, critical question: How will this decision support and further the goal of getting more data into the hands of more people, when they need it, to ensure a positive business outcome.

Communication Skills

All IT leaders must be exceptional communicators and CIOs must be able to effectively and concisely convey and translate their thoughts into actions, in order to facilitate dialogue between different teams. A major enterprise CIO must also be prepared to communicate effectively with management, clients, shareholders, media, market analysts, and government officials.

Adaptability and resilience

In today’s cyber-world, CIOs are positioned at the helm, steering their enterprises toward new opportunities while facing constant technology challenges, including the rapidly growing amount of data enterprises must store, analyze, and protect. There will be times when seemingly promising opportunities and approaches simply do not work. Instead of being viewed as failures or setbacks, those experiences should be seen as lessons; opportunities to grow as a CIO. Individuals should use these challenges as an avenue to learn more about the job and environment, which in the long run will result in a stronger leader. Having the ability to understand and work alongside other top executives to create opportunities and solve problems that benefit the entire organization is also crucial to a CIO’s effectiveness at a major enterprise. Adaptability won’t just allow a CIO to become an effective executive, but also a strong enterprise leader.

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