CIO- Business or Technology?

CIOs play important roles in companies and organizations all over the world today. The Chief Information Officer is usually the most senior executive in an enterprise responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals. They typically report to the chief executive officer, chief operations officer or chief financial officer. When talking about this high level position of IT leadership though, there are some common misperceptions.

CIO Insight has an article up now discussing the myths of a CIO’s role. One of these that stood out to me in particular was the idea that CIOs usually earned some kind of “techie” degree along the way. In reality, some don’t have any formal IT education. However, technology ignites their passion and intellectual curiosity when it comes to envisioning how it can solve business challenges. So that leads me to the question, is it better to have a business savvy CIO as opposed to one whose more technologically inclined?

Ideally you would like to have the best of both worlds but that is not always possible. On the one hand you need somebody capable of running a fairly important department effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, you need someone in tune with the rapidly evolving world of clouds and iPads in order to stay on top of the competition. Having someone that can relate to the IT architects and such is very important as well. At the same time that person needs to be able to articulate these IT projects (without using IT jargon) to various stakeholders in order to sell them on different issues and gain their support. It is a tough choice with a lot on the line. Which way do you go?