Must-Have CIO Skills That Are Crucial To Success

Many assume that knowing everything about tech is enough. However, a person must have these CIO skills to be successful. 

Moreover, knowing how the technology works is just the first step. CIO is one of the leaders of the company. Thus, a leader must possess a unique series of skills to do his job well. These traits vary from one organization to another. That is because every company has its own needs. Yet, there are some skills essential in every industry. 

The Shift In the Chief Information Officer Role

The role of the CIO is shifting. Being tech-savvy is not enough for this executive role. Most companies find candidates that possess a blend of leadership, business, and technology skills. Why so? To head the digital transformation efforts. 

Let’s take a look at some statistics. According to a study, 49 percent of organizations say that their business model changed. Moreover, others in that figure say that they’re in the middle of the change. Furthermore, 55 percent of organizations shifted from project to product delivery. 

Since the business environment is changing quickly, aspiring CIOs need to be adaptable. Otherwise, they will be ineffective in doing their job amidst the new business priorities and digital focus.

Furthermore, companies need to look for these essential CIO skills. We have compiled the most important CIO skills that are essential to success.


This is perhaps the most important among CIO skills. The executive’s ability to communicate can boost customer satisfaction and the company workforce. Otherwise, the lack of communication skills poses the company to lose sales or employee turnover.

The CIO requires a lot of reporting to upper management. Moreover, a CIO must clearly relay to his subordinates the goal of the company. He must know how to adjust his communication style to the way his/her non-techie audience can understand.


Budgeting the IT funds is one critical skill an IT leader must-have. The company’s IT budgets usually stay the same or increase every year. Whatever it is, the CIO must have great budgeting skills so he/she can use the funds in improving the company and not hurting its pocket.

Emotional Intelligence

It is proven that employees with higher emotional intelligence rise faster and higher than employees with higher technical expertise. Furthermore, the chief information officer must know how to empathize and build trust across the organization. 

Moreover, a CIO controls his feelings no matter how intense the situation is. Such self-control prevents impulsive decision-making. As a result, the company tastes success. 

Strategic Planning Skills

This executive role involves a lot of strategic planning. Furthermore, CIOs must have basic technical knowledge of how things work. Moreover, they need to see what the company needs for growth. For example, is it better to build something in the house or use third-party software? Making such a decision requires not only tech skills but also strategic skills.

Digital Literacy

It is not enough to stick in a piece of certain digital knowledge. Technology changes quicker than we can imagine. These are the traits CIOs must-have instead of knowledge in certain tech:

  • technology savvy
  • digital nativeness
  • out-of-the-box thinking
  • Life-long learning
  • Speed
  • Being ahead of the crowd
  • Ease of adoption

The words “digital literacy” sum those skills listed below.

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