Top CIO Qualities In Demand for 2013

Leaders who meet heightened expectations by driving change in a fast-changing competitive environments will be in demand in 2013 and beyond. Here are essential qualities organizations will be seeking from CIOs.


Set the Stage for Transformation 

True leadership is needed to create change. Once the framework is laid and all of the pieces are in place, leading CIOs know how to set the stage for the hard work ahead. These CIOs know how to remove obstacles. Creating a clear path for the transformation requires careful listening skills right at the very time many leaders are being asked to race ahead. Creating this clear path sets the final stage for readiness. This is where much needed enthusiasm and energy builds to launch the project forward.


Keep Pace with Regulatory Requirements

CIO needs to keep pace with the regulatory requirements and understand the ramifications of those requirements. greater CIOs from various industries including financial service and the healthcare must continue to focus on data mining, predictive analytics, business intelligence, insurance analytics, statistical modeling and big data within regulatory requirements.


Mitigate Risk and Maximize Security Policies

The ability to maintain a secure environment is cited routinely as a top priority for incoming CIOs, including processes, procedures, and documentation. We see an increase in the scrutiny of disaster recovery programs, compliance, and security. Not all CIOs will personally lead each of these efforts but all CIOs will need to be savvy in each of these areas. 

Viruses that send unsolicited emails and attack websites, as well as search engine poisoning — where unwitting users are misdirected toward questionable or fraudulent sites — are among the increasingly sophisticated tactics used to capture and exploit consumer data and pose threats to international supply chains.

As more devices utilize IP addresses, the attack surface will become larger and threats to cybersecurity will increase. Cyber criminals will dedicate themselves to finding increasingly complex methods for attacks in 2013.


Create a Culture Receptive to Change

To maintain a competitive advantage, all industries are now focused on adapting technology to keep pace with change.

In a recent article titled “Accelerate!” from the November 2012 Harvard Business Review, John P. Kotter offers a new definition of strategy as a “dynamic force that constantly sees opportunities, identifies initiatives that will capitalize on them, and completes those initiatives swiftly and efficiently.”  The ability of the CIO to facilitate change is becoming a requirement and should be viewed as a new strategic imperative for leadership. Creating a culture receptive to change will speed transformations in critical business processes.

Make Interoperability a Priority in your Organization

In 2013, the CIO may spend as much time reallocating teams as building teams to accommodate shifting priorities. Creating an organization that can “plug and play” will become a key value in achieving multiple large-scale deployments. An “intelligent organization,” characterized by its collective knowledge, can move more nimbly because it is an organization that is open to sharing and learning from information and, consequently, can work in alignment to achieve goals even if the task has changed. 


Organizational Awareness

Graduate classes in Business Orgaization teach us that CIOs must be proficient at managing change. “Organizational awareness” is critical to managing effective change and making positive performance shifts. Understanding how leadership functions and performs within the organization, its policies, procedures, and understanding the potential of what can be achieved as well as the specific results that are needed and how to navigate the organization to best achieve those results. A highly matrixed organization requires a high degree of organizational awareness. Those organizations that may be involved in mergers and acquisition activities require a high degree of organizational awareness. Leaders of newly merged organizations may find they need new innovative skill sets from IT leadership. This important skill set will be key as M&A activity is expected to increase in 2013.




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James Finnan has been covering financial markets for 10 years. He has served as Editor in Chief of since 2010. Additionally he has been a contributing writer to the My Media network of sites including,, and