Prince Amir Al Saud

Top Five Qualities of Chief Information Officers

Top Five Qualities of Chief Information Officers

CIOs can be great corporate leaders because of sharp communications skills, political acumen and creative thinking. These information executives have crucial roles to play in this IT-swamped business environment. What are the qualities that chief information officers need to stand out in their chosen fields?

IT and Non-IT Functions

Chief information officers should have extensive experience in managing both information technology and non-IT aspects of the business such as marketing, operations and company supply chain. A smart CIO approaches a problem not merely as an IT issue but as organizational concern. CIOs rising from the ranks can acquire parallel experiences like overseeing business teams for special projects not entirely confined to technology matters.

Adept in Business Strategies

CIOs must be aware of their corporate business strategies and discover the things that really drive value. This will help them execute a particular strategy effectively. In fact, implementation is more complicated than planning strategy. Top information executives should take the lead in translating the value of technology in line with the company’s vision. The CIO must also be capable of overcoming challenges by making use of his or her skills.

Use Technology as Tool

Technology can facilitate financial outcomes which are more consequential compared to IT thrusts. Technology is seen as a remarkable strategic advantage despite modifications in workflows if positioned correctly.

Clear Role

CIOS must be clear regarding their targets and role as well as considerable eagerness for risk to attain business objectives. This means taking on more risks in projects, commodities and employees. There should also be innovation aside from clear goals.

Building Consensus

An information manager also needs to find new methods of creating consensus within the organization. IT continues to evolve radically. The CIO can help build harmony within the company.

Top Five Global

CIOs Here are five prominent Chief Information Officers worldwide who demonstrate parallel or similar capabilities in the facets of being innovative, excellent communicators and making landmark achievements in the IT profession:

Karen Ann Terrell, Executive Vice President/CIO of Wal-Mart in 2010 is responsible for the number one retail corporation’s technology systems worldwide. Wal-Mart has been listed number one in the Fortune 500 companies.

Michael Brown has been Vice President for Global IT of ExxonMobil Global Services Company since 2011. He joined Mobil Corporation in 1980 as process engineer and took the lead in business process re-engineering along with SAP rollout for upstream, downstream and global chemical assets. After Mobil’s fusion with Exxon in 1999, Brown performed related tasks for the merger.

Louie Ehrlich is Chief Information Officer of Chevron Corporation and President of Chevron’s IT firm. He is in charge of implementing the corporation’s IT strategies and providing IT-related services globally.

Niall O’Connor has been the CIO of Apple since 1997. O’Connor has spearheaded transformational IT programs and was responsible for the implementation of SAP worldwide. He was at the forefront of Apple’s innovation for all the company’s call centers, warehousing facilities and retail environments.

Kay Sallee is chief information officer of Phillips 66 having served in the past as corporate IT services manager of Phillips Petroleum Company. Sallee was also the general manager of Enterprise Information Services for ConocoPhillips. Holding firm Phillips 66 was put up when ConocoPhillips decentralized its downstream resources in 2012. IT-influenced business changes at Phillips 66 include a mobile working initiative that produced over 2,000 iPhones fitted with business productivity apps.


These successful Chief Information Officers are successful innovators who accomplished a lot more than building teams for driving technology. They created changes that moved their respective enterprises. These five CIOs can be described as transformational executives with the qualities of proper vision and motivation that will instigate employees to attain that vision.

In addition to foresight and driving force, these CIOs possess self-awareness and make decisions based on previous challenges, accomplishments and failures. They do not focus on daily tasks but look forward to the future. They distinguish risks and opportunities while strategizing ahead of time.

Said CIOs are also proficient in networking. Each one has nurtured massive professional connections and adroit in using these networks to reveal their know-how. At the same time, these leaders are not fearful of taking risks. They propose ideas and recommendations that matter most since they are experts in these turfs.

Great CIOS are always decisive which spells the big difference. Good leaders are also human but they know when to make crucial decisions that affect the future of the organization and its employees. Finally, they are excellent innovators utilizing technology. CIOs build new business platforms and formulate techniques that move their corporations forward. Results are always essential for them.

These CIOs are always focused on enhancing the business while treating employees with utmost respect. For them, people always come first than other elements of the enterprise.  

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