October 14, 2009

So You Wanna Be A CIO? Here's What They Look Like…

How Much Does A CIO Make? What Does A CIO Do?

How Much Does A CIO Make? What Does A CIO Do?

The job of being a CIO is not well understood within many IT departments. Sure everyone knows that the CIO is in charge, but what does a CIO actually do?

The numbers that we’re going to be talking about all come from the 2008 Ziff-Davis Enterprise CIO Role Survey so you know the data is fresh and probably fairly close to the truth.

Money, Money, Money: Let’s start by talking about what everyone wants to know first & how much can I expect to be pulling in for all the grief that I’m going to have to put up with when I’m CIO? In base salary, you should be expecting to be taking home about $170,000. Not too bad, eh? Well it gets even better when you figure in your bonus that you’ll be earning for completing that big ERP project on time and keeping the IT budget under control. You should be expecting a bonus of about $41,000 this year. That means that you’ll be pocketing right around $211,000 this year.

Details, Details, Details: Job satisfaction is all in the details, and this is no different for CIOs. First, let’s ask the question & who’s your boss? For 56% of CIOs the answer is the CEO (not bad; however, this means that 44% are NOT reporting to the big man…) What is your real job CIO? For 43% of you cost cutting is something that you consider to be your primary role. This is really bad news because there are a lot of other C-level executives that do this job much better than a CIO. Do you need an MBA to speak the language of business? Well, 31% of you thought that you did and so these folks went out and got themselves one of those MBA things. Finally, is this an all-boys club? Basically, yes. It turns out that only about 10% of CIOs are women. Ouch!

Purse Power: So it sounds rather girlish, but purse power is something that even the most manly of CIOs desperately wants more of. Each year a company launches many different projects. The CIO only has purse power control over a few of these projects so they are the most important to him/her. The two types of projects that a CIO is most likely to have control over are cross-functional process improvement projects (60% of CIOs have control over these) and technology adoption projects (90% of CIOs have control over these).

What Do You Do All Day?: The answer to this question turns out to really depend on what type of company you are CIO at. If you are a CIO at a big enterprise company, your top three roles are as follows:

  1. Be an adviser on how to improve business processes.
  2. Enable and execute business strategy
  3. Coach other IT executives

Now if instead, you are working at a mid-market firm, then your top three roles will be different. Here’s what they will look like for you:

  1. Be an adviser on how to improve business processes.
  2. Be a technology visionary & know what’s coming and what it means to the firm.
  3. Ensure that the company’s existing technology works and keeps working correctly.

There you have it, a CIO’s job defined in a nutshell. Is this what your CIO is doing or is something missing? In order to get an IT shop in shape, or to prepare the next set of IT Leaders to become CIO, Blue Elephant Consulting can help you to both define the role and how your CIO can be successful.

Contact Blue Elephant Consulting

If you are interested in finding out more about how your IT department can better align with the rest of the firm and become more valuable, get in contact with Blue Elephant Consulting in order to find out how a consulting or training program could be customized to meet your unique needs.