CIOs have their work cut out for them. They carry a tremendous amount of responsibility as companies of all types and sizes become further defined by their technological prowess.
Many organizations that wouldn’t have even thought of creating the CIO position have actually done so in the past few years. With all that responsibility, CIOs face an increasing amount of pressure to perform and deliver the desired results. As such, many CIOs feel like the threat of being fired is constantly hanging over them, that the slightest misstep will lead to their dismissal. While this may be overstating what they actually face a bit (CIOs are fired at roughly the same rate as other c-suite executives), there’s little doubt that the expectations are high. For CIOs dealing with stress at keeping their jobs, the following may explain why.
Security Breaches are Common
One of the main reasons CIOs get fired, as outlined by Silverton Consulting, is when an organization experiences a security breach. These types of breaches have become all too common, some of them even making headlines like in the case of Target and Sony. The damage from these breaches can be catastrophic, costing the largest businesses millions of dollars and revealing sensitive information about the company and its large number of customers. Though there are multiple reasons why security breaches occur, CIOs are almost always held responsible. For this reason, CIOs need to make security a priority, providing the right training and adopting the best technology designed to stop breaches before they happen. Equally valuable is being able to contain the damage should a breach happen.
Leadership More Important Than Ever
Closely connected with the above point, an effective CIO is one who leads not just an individual department but the entire company. CIOs carry with them a unique expertise, one that’s sorely needed in today’s businesses. Many executives may not understand technology to the extent that the CIO does, so it’s up to the CIO to explain why certain technologies would be the most important for the company to adopt. A failure to lead is one of the main reasons CIOs are fired in the first place. CIOs need to be up to date about big data analytics and cloud computing, while also paving the way with forging relationships with converged infrastructure and software defined storage vendors. CIOs who don’t take the initiative are often left behind.
Difficulty of Disaster Recovery
Problems crop up from time to time, and luckily, many executives understand this. The main issue arises when disaster recovery is slow and unresponsive. For example, if a company loses its servers for a time, it’s often up to the CIO to lead the way in getting thing back online. If the most important systems aren’t recovered quickly, that’s when things can get out of hand in a hurry. Disaster recovery is certainly not always easy to execute, but the key to enacting it is to already have a plan in place. That plan also has to be constantly updated over time. If a disaster recovery plan isn’t updated, delays are the most likely result.
Silverton Consulting also indicates that project failures are another CIOs are let go. Projects can be massive in scope, but that also makes it easier to come up short or go over budget. CIOs that can demonstrate effective project management, however, will be able to achieve the organization’s stated goals, helping the business out in the process. That might mean taking the project and breaking it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. It may require the CIO to choose certain IT employees to oversee different aspects of the project. There is no foolproof way to manage IT projects, but showing excellent management skills shows the CIOs worth to the company.
The role of the CIO is one that seems to be changing constantly. That makes it difficult at times to keep up with all the new responsibilities and challenges, but the obstacles are possible to overcome. With CIOs facing so many pressures these days, tackling each problem a little bit at a time may seem like it’s only scratching the surface, but significant progress can be made. By focusing on the priorities the company has, CIOs will be in good position to stay with their organizations for years to come.