April 25, 2012

At the top of every organization is the boss, the man or woman who has the ultimate responsibility for making decisions, setting directions, and making sure the job gets done right. The position comes with perks and pressures. And while many may yearn to have the word "chief" in their title, not everybody is cut out for such a challenge.

Only "a select few" have the makings of a Chief Information Officer, says Peter High, president of Metis Strategy and author of "World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs".

"The average person who joins an IT department certainly does not have the makeup to be a CIO, just as the average person in finance does not have the makeup to be a CFO," he says.

Here's what it takes to earn the much-vaunted acronym of 'CIO' on your business card:

Business acumen. So you know how to put out fires and you have every technical certification known in the industry. But technical know-how is simply a base requirement for the position of CIO. Instead, High says, "What really separates the leaders from the rest of the pack is some significant business acumen."

While an MBA can certainly help broaden your expertise, High says today's business leaders are looking for CIOs that "have spent a little bit of time in a business environment, for example, by working as a consultant." This real-world experience lends IT professionals a greater understanding of how technology affects a company's bottom line, as well as a greater appreciation for a wide variety of everyday business challenges.

To read the entire original article, visit InformationWeek.