Several organizations believe the IT department is just a support system and not centrally prominent to their businesses. When the question of choosing a CEO arises, enterprises tend to shortlist individuals from operations, sales, or marketing backgrounds. However, there are certain exceptions like Greg Carmichael, Stephen Gillett, and Phillip Clarke, where the companies have chosen CIOs as their CEOs. Some CIOs get promoted as CEO within the company, while some drift toward startup businesses. In her article for InformationWeek, Mary E. Shacklett shares how CIOs can become CEOs and the aspects they should pay more attention to.
Focus on End Business
CIOs usually deal with the end part of the business to prevent technical risks and security breaches. If you are a CIO and want to improve your candidature for the post of CEO, focus on your end business responsibilities. If your company focuses on sales, marketing, and operations sectors, look for enterprises that consider IT as the central element of their business.
Be Inclusive and Communicative
Shacklett asserts, “If your line of reporting is to the CFO or to the COO, and you don’t have a direct communication line to the CEO, you are likely working in an organization that doesn’t feel IT is important enough to report to the CEO.” Besides, it is crucial to convey your thoughts in such a manner that people with no IT background can understand your concepts. People appreciate and expect clarity of thoughts from senior leadership, and it is your responsibility to deliver that. Develop your knowledge in other spheres of your organization to better monitor different projects and campaigns.
There are specific sectors, such as banking and finance, where internal IT departments are developed into independent units that sell IT hosting services to other industry enterprises. Such independent entities can serve as an excellent opportunity to become a CEO.
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