Five IT skills for a CIO CV

Brid-Aine Parnell

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Companies need CIOs that are consummate professionals with various IT specialisms, quality soft skills and a talent for management. These are the IT specialisms that will make your CV stand out.

Everyone knows about the IT skills shortage and how companies worldwide are crying out for talented IT staff. But just because the jobs are out there doesn’t mean anyone can fill them.

The sort of CIO that companies need today is a professional with various IT specialisms, coupled with soft skills and a talent for management. These are five highlights your CV needs to hit to get noticed this year.

1. Cybersecurity

According to a study by security and compliance solutions provider Tripwire, only 25 per cent of organisations feel they have the number of skilled cybersecurity experts needed to effectively detect and respond to threats.

Recent high-profile attacks like WannaCry prove how vulnerable companies are to ransomware, which is predicted by McAfee to be one of the top and growing threats this year. The security firm also reports that advances in machine learning will be used to enhance social engineering attacks, resulting in more stolen passwords and greater vulnerability for companies.

While the CIO can’t be a company’s cybersecurity expert, they do need to show they have enough of a skill set in the sector to hire the right people from a shrinking talent pool.

2. Cloud architecture

According to RightScale’s sixth annual State of the Cloud Survey, 85 per cent of enterprises now have a multi-cloud strategy. That means the IT department needs to have a central role in a number of cloud decisions and manage apps across cloud deployments.

The CIO needs to be part of selecting which public cloud to use, advising on which applications and processes to move into the cloud and choosing and running the private cloud. They need to show they can help a business move into the cloud if it’s not there already, or handle and supplement any existing cloud deployments.

3. Virtualisation

It can be difficult to get the IT budget for new deployments, but virtualisation promises the kind of cost savings in the data centre that most companies can’t afford to ignore.

That migration to virtualisation is having a profound effect on IT departments. Right now, companies may be happy with hiring a virtualisation expert, but there are already signs that this is another specialism the CIO would be wise to adopt.

In the Spiceworks 2017 Tech Career Outlook report, IT professionals rated virtualisation as one of the top skills needed this year, with 92 per cent citing it as a core technical skill.

4. Business intelligence

Data-driven businesses are five times more likely to make faster decisions than their market peers and twice as likely to land in the top quartile of financial performance within their industries, according to a study from management consultancy Bain & Company.

Big data is big business, and that makes business intelligence (BI) and analytics a crucial function of the IT department. The CIO needs to manage that function and help their BI staff integrate with the business to ensure the right data is used where, when and how it should be.

5. Creativity

It’s not strictly speaking an IT skill, but CIOs are expected to do a lot more than just keep the lights on these days.

According to the BT CIO report from 2016, 70 per cent of boardrooms expect their CIO to be “an innovative force and creative disruptor” – even though over 60 per cent of senior IT decision-makers feel the CIO spends more time maintaining the current IT systems than searching for new solutions.

CIOs need to show they can juggle these responsibilities and provide examples of where they have innovated with technology to change a business for the better.


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