5 Key Traits of an Education CIO


5 Key Traits of an Education CIO

Chief Information Officer is the senior executive who is responsible for seamless information and communication technology within the education institute.

Apart from this the role is not just limited to being responsible for seamless working of technology but extends to IT Support Provider, Informaticist and IT Strategist, Integrator , IT Educator, and in some cases Business Partner as well.

“CIOs can no longer afford to sit around simply absorbing the change that filters through their organizations. Instead, CIOs themselves should work to drive change at all levels of the business. How to do it? Understand the steps needed to create change in the first place; factor corporate culture into your plans; pace yourself; and fight to deliver tangible business outcomes.” -  The Wall Street Journal CIO Network.

Some of the key traits that one will witness in Education CIOs are listed below.

Support System- Backbone

The fact: every department relies on IT for something be it phones, emails, computers, newsletters, content management systems and the never ending list. The reach with the present technology is unlimited and CIOs make it possible for all by guiding and leading towards that reach with the best possible means.

"Every corner of every line of business has a need for some sort of IT support or service. That fact is a reflection of the value of what technology can do to improve performance, drive efficiency, save costs and ultimately to become more effective,"

- Arizona State University, CIO, Gordon Wishon

Like quoted above, they do work as the backbone of the institution taking care of the things that makes it possible for all to do a little better every time.

Solid Knowledge of Business and Everything

The ever-changing nature of IT makes these wonderful people aware of almost everything. What is new in IT? How is it helping the industry they deal in or how does it help the other industries?

The nature of their profession demands them to be aware of the benefits that industries are reaping out of technology and this curiosity makes them aware of the various aspects of business and other things.

Strategist with a Forward Vision

When the CIO is in charge of a forward-looking organization that needs or expects a lot from technology, the style of the CIO is more of a strategic partner or vision designer. Because they have an intimate knowledge of the industry, they are being able to imagine pictures where the ideas become clear to those who can provide direction, funding and/or permission to execute the vision for the benefit of the organization. They provide a vision for a better tomorrow.

Change Driver

CIOs are senior level executives and are entrepreneurial in nature, they possess the ability to change, improvise if needed and innovate their strategies to take things to the other level. Driving the change, they push and bring forward the importance of change to those in the industry helps them to embrace the changes and that mostly reflects in the efficient results they reap out of implementing the new changes for everyone’s best.    

Great Leaders

Most importantly they are the leaders who strive to do better with each passing day. Authenticity, trustworthiness and integrity, are just some of the traits that are possessed in every professional being but great leaders are those who are being able to inspire and build people.  CIOs as leaders spend a lot of time and energy managing relationships that exist sideways: with internal peers, external suppliers, and customers. They purposely invest in relationships which form the foundation to drive extraordinary results.

Bottom line, a successful education CIO is a big contributor to the development and management of business strategies and directions within the institution operations in the digital age.

What’s your take on this? What other traits do you observe in the Ed CIOs around you? Share with us in the comment section below.

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About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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