Becoming the Ascendant CIO

Becoming the Ascendant CIO

This IDC Perspective aims at helping CIOs understand how they can ascend to or remain ascendant in key roles in the business leadership team. It explains why they are uniquely positioned, what traits and characteristics they need to develop, and what actions are necessary to achieve success. The COVID-19 pandemic served as a career "springboard" for CIOs who were able to rise to the challenge, as businesses had to dramatically change, virtually overnight, to new businesses and operating models fueled by digital technologies. In the process, some CIOs ascended from senior technology leaders to essential members of the business leadership team, gaining them broader and deeper influence in corporate direction and strategy.Now as COVID-19 measures are taking effect and the pandemic is beginning to wane, the question becomes, "What are the post-pandemic means and opportunities to become or remain essential members of the business leadership team?""Ascendant CIOs are full-fledged members of the business leadership team — not advisors or consultants, but instead working on a level playing field where they are viewed as peers to the rest of the leadership team," says Marc Strohlein, adjunct research advisor with IDC's IT Executive Programs (IEP). "They are integral to establishing business vision, strategies, and goals — not just as enablers but as key decision makers."

Please Note: Extended description available upon request.

Executive Snapshot
Situation Overview
What Is an Ascendant CIO and How Did They Get There?
The Six Pillars of CIO Ascendancy
Traits and Abilities of Ascendant CIOs
Essential CIO Actions to Gain Ascendancy
Advice for the Ascendant CIO
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