As cybersecurity becomes a higher priority, the CIO role has expanded. Gone are the days when the responsibilities of a CIO were limited to only the technology department– now a modern CIO touches almost every department in a company. From customer experience to website speed, CIOs have more to oversee than ever before “leaving their previous role as trusted operators in the dust,” according to Tech Republic.

Changing and Adapting commented, “The era is over where IT is a utility and where CIOs can flip industry at will. Deep business knowledge is incredibly important. Same goes for understanding the customer.”

In the past, understanding infrastructure was enough to get you hired at any company, but now CIOs need to understand their specific industry’s needs in order to completely leverage technology.

Strategy over Specific Skills

One of the biggest changes for CIOs is the shift from simply having technology skills to being able to drive business strategy. While IT was previously seen as support for the vision of a company, technology now creates the vision – especially as technologies like AI become more popular. From customer service to marketing to traditional IT needs, the CIO helps build the strategy for it all.

Processes in Place

Because IT is involved in every aspect of a business, the process to complete a project has become more important than ever before. CIOs need to effectively prioritize projects within a company, handle the backlog, and measure the capabilities of each team to implement a project.

Top Characteristics for a Modern CIO

When you’re looking for a CIO for your organization, he or she should obviously have experience with managing an infrastructure implementation or running a cybersecurity team. However, personality attributes might be more beneficial than traditional hard skills.

Look for the Curious and Innovative

Technology evolves at a pace faster than most companies can keep up. When hiring, look for someone who can direct others on the implementation of a new system while keeping his or her own time available to innovate and look for new developments.

Your CIO should be able to tell you the latest in technology and be excited about the future for your business. Those leaders who are slow to innovate will quickly become irrelevant.


The Modern CIO will have to be involved in every area of the business, so you’ll want someone who can communicate and collaborate easily with the rest of the C-Suite. No matter who he or she ultimately reports to—whether that’s a CEO, CFO, or someone else—your CIO needs to be open to working with other departments, from marketing to customer service.


Before he or she can implement a digital or technological overhaul in your company, modern CIOs should understand your customers’ needs above all else. This is why it’s helpful to hire from within your industry. When the candidate knows exactly what your customers are looking for, he or she can develop a technology plan or build your infrastructure in a way that makes sense and optimizes costs.

Hiring a Modern CIO?

In today’s changing world, you must make new considerations when hiring. The old model of compartmentalizing roles and segmenting responsibilities is antiquated and limits innovation. Think globally when hiring your next CIO, and you’ll find innovation to be the norm in your future company culture.

Whether you’re replacing your CIO or looking to expand your company with this role, you need a team of hiring experts. We have connections to the best candidates in the industry and will help you find the right person for your company. Connect with us today to get started.