Every business needs a good IT executive, whether it is for planning the company’s IT roadmap or helping to maintain smooth operations through the use of information technology. More youngsters are dreaming of becoming a Chief Information Officer or CIO. It is a very rewarding position – and career – and it is definitely worth pursuing.
If you are one of those people who want to be a top IT executive, there are several key skills you need to have. In this article, we are going to go over the top three skills you need to be a successful IT executive and, further down the line, CIO.
There are reasons why top universities such as UAB Collat School of Business are adding critical business classes to their online bachelor of science in information systems programs. A good understanding of business workflows is one of the most important skills to have as an IT executive.
Today’s online BSIS degree holders are required to be able to translate business processes into system workflows and suitable IT solutions. The ability to translate parts of the business’s operations into IT implementation guidelines will make you a valuable IT specialist for the company.
Another reason why business knowledge is critical is the evolving nature of IT itself. Even a well-implemented IT solution will need to be adjusted or modified over time, especially as the business grows. Only those who understand the necessary adjustments to be made upon seeing changes in the business workflow can succeed in this field.
Good communication skills are another critical skill to have as a CIO. Knowing the needs of the business and the kind of IT solutions required is just the start. The next step is communicating those needs to two important parties in the business: the business owner or decision makers, and the team that will be implementing the IT solutions.
You have to be able to communicate the benefits of IT implementation before the projects get the approval they need. This means breaking down those advantages into numbers; sometimes, you also need to know the impact of IT implementations on the company’s bottom line.
On the other hand, ensuring the success of IT implementation projects requires the ability to communicate the ideas you have in mind clearly. Even a simple miscommunication can lead to a costly mistake.
If your goal is to become CIO, then you need to show strong leadership throughout your career. IT teams can be difficult to organize, but a strong leader has the ability to transform the strong individuals inside the team into a well-oiled machine that supports the business fully. The process involves having a clear vision, the ability to plan ahead, and taking the time to understand the strengths of each team member.
Leadership skills will also help you connect with other parts of the company. It is not uncommon for IT to have tense relationships with other departments. A good leader must be able to bridge the gap between IT and marketing, finance, and other parts of the business’s operations. Combined with the previous two key skills, leadership skills are the ingredient that makes you the best CIO that you can be.