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CIO role is constantly changing

CIOs Must Deliver Business Value – or Face Obsolescence - It's tough being a CIO. For years we've heard about the typically short tenures of CIOs and the limited opportunities for CIOs to move to another position in the C-suite. Some folks like to joke that CIO stands for "career is over."

In a blog post on ComputerWeekly.com it says several IT executives told her they hoped to move into another, operational role in their organizations. It mentions several British CIOs who have done so recently. The poster wonders if CIOs are a "declining species," writing:

As IT-enabled change and efficiency becomes an oxymoron for the younger generations and the current cohort of CIOs moves to other functions of the "business", services that used to be executed by internal departments are now carried out by third-parties.

A Computerworld article cites data from Janco Associates, the Society for Information Management (SIM) and anecdotal evidence to show CIO tenure is usually about five years. Two sources for the article, Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis and SIM member have differing views on the recession's impact on CIO tenure. Janulaitis says the recession has led more organizations to seek a change in IT leadership, while member says it is keeping older CIOs on the job longer in hopes their finances will improve before they retire.

The Computerworld article isn't all negative. It also cites a source from executive search firm Cook Associates, who says companies are taking longer to hire CIOs because they better understand the strategic nature of the role. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on a CIO's skill set.

CEOs have higher expectations of CIOs in terms of their knowledge of the business and being able to solve business problems through the use of technology.

That certainly meshes with a recent Constellation Research report that found companies will expect CIOs to deliver more business value.

According to a CIO.com story about the research, the report suggests CIOs will need to master four personas in order to be successful:

CIO Job Tenure

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