Context is everything.
So each CIO role will have some specific needs. These will depend upon the organisation, the industry, the current business strategy, the prevailing market conditions, the quality of the asset base (people, applications and infrastructure) and the prevailing financial climate in terms of investment and cost management.
In addition to these role-specific demands, the ideal CIO needs to have a more generic portfolio of skills and capabilities. Key amongst these are for she or he to:
- be a great communicator (formal & informal);
- make & sustain very strong personal relationships with executive colleagues and third-party partners;
- have loads of business savvy (about how the market works and how his/her business works within it);
- be strongly empathetic & intuitive;
- be prepared to break moulds & to take risks;
- develop top class IT management leaders & teams (& therefore potential successors);
- have strong IT roots with ideally other experience (eg supply-side with service partners, consultancy, demand-side elsewhere in the business).