What is really required of CIO’s according to Employers?

22 Nov

We have all written and read what we think is required for modern day CIO’s in businesses but to actually delve into the realistic actualities of what entails the responsibilities of the said position we must see what firms genuinely look for. In a job vacancy for a Chief Information Officer in South Africa the firm listed certain roles and responsibilities sought after. They are listed as follows:

  • Provide the strategic and operational framework for the design, development and delivery of information and technology systems.
  • Lead IT strategic and operational initiatives to achieve business aims.
  • Develop and maintain an appropriate IT organizational structure that supports current business needs, whilst being able accommodate future growth; both locally and internationally.
  • Identify opportunities for the appropriate and cost-effective investment of financial resources in IT systems and resources, including staffing, solutions sourcing, purchasing, and in-house development.
  • Provide strategic insight and overview on business case justifications and cost/benefit analyses for IT spending and initiatives. Large scale investments.
  • Coordinate and facilitate consultation with stakeholders and clients to define systems and business requirements for new technology implementations.
  • Lead the identification and delivery of sustainable IT solutions (Green IT).
  • Direct the development and execution of an enterprise-wide IT disaster recovery and business continuity planning.
  • Review hardware & software acquisition and maintenance contracts and pursue master agreements to capitalise on economies of scale.
  • Advise EXCO on the competitive or financial impact trends and issues in the IT industry, including latest technologies and the impact on business strategy.
  • Promote and oversee strategic relationships between internal IT resources and external entities, including government, IT vendors, and partner organizations.
  • Assist in the overall strategic direction at an Exco Leadership level.


Also included in the vacancy are experience and qualifications requirements:

  • Minimum 10 years’ IT  experience, with 5 years managing and/or directing an Enterprise Wide IT operation
  • Experience in strategic planning and execution – with a track record of success
  • Insurance Industry experience essential
  • Experience with systems design and development from business requirements analysis through to day-to-day management.
  • Proven experience in IT planning, organization, and development.
  • Excellent understanding of project management principles.
  • University degree in the field of computer science or business administration essential.
  • Master’s degree in business or IT will serve as an advantage.


Following this is the knowledge and expertise section:


  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Strong negotiating skills.
  • Exceptionally self-motivated and directed.
  • Superior analytical, evaluative, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Strong service orientation.
  • Ability to motivate in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.


From this analysis, we can see that not only is the CIO a role which requires considerable educational expertise and useful experience at an executive level, there are also skills sought after which wouldn’t be traditionally common. For example, the role of communication skills and being adept at inter-personal relations is vital for the business. Within this, one of the more important aspects of these ‘soft’ skills is developing professional relationships with stakeholders to maximise chances of investment or innovation opportunities.



6 Responses to “What is really required of CIO’s according to Employers?”

  1. anon100 November 23, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Good insight oconnormatty7. When I first began researching this subject I was slightly surprised that interpersonal skills were a requirement for a CIO. I always imagined the role as being completely tech oriented. I, like you, believe soft skills are going to become increasingly necessary for a CIO to possess in the future.

  2. oconnormatty7 November 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    I doubt it jamesdaly1990. The technical skills are still crucial and will remain in pole position unless something unforeseen should happen.

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