The rise in digital transformations predicts higher CIO turnover
- The modern role of the chief information officer (CIO) comes with more responsibilities and challenges as digital transformations bring increased expectations of organizational success, according a report in CIO.com.
- The story lists seven reasons CIOs quit, including broad changes in organizational strategy or their responsibilities, or when their strategies are not promoted, they fail to meet expected outcomes, or are incapable of fitting in with a particular work culture.
- Among other challenges, some CIOs struggle with juggling both internal and enterprise IT management. Often CIOs find themselves working against an accelerated timeline that is too fast-paced, and some depart because of an inability to overcome bureaucratic resistance or align different perspectives on digital strategies.
Higher ed CIOs' roles are evolving into something much bigger than the IT support roles they had once been seen as primarily having. In a digital-first era, information technology becomes integral to every function of an organization. CIOs sit at the center of everything and have specialized knowledge of an institution’s operations.
There’s almost no aspect of education and student success not touched by the IT apparatus, and the job increasingly requires strategic thinking and planning to encompass the full operation of the campus. From student learning, campus security, recruitment, student completion, financial aid and virtually any other area on campus, CIOs are more likely to be called on to lead and solve problems.
A lack of investment in professional development and grooming the next generation of leaders is an often-discussed issue across the entire campus, and the CIO's office is no different. Dealing with people from all departments, overseeing multiple projects, and communicating up and down the hierarchy are leadership skills that institutions should help their CIOs develop. It's also important that CIOs have the support and encouragement to perform at their best. Not only that, but to retain strong talent in the position, benchmarks should be clear, and CIOs should be included in decisions about all key areas on campus.
It's worth noting that many CIOs who chose academia over the private sector did so because higher ed's mission weighed heavily into their decision. Keeping that top-of-mind may help retain top talent in the position.