The Challenges Of Filling CIO Roles

Labor shortages are plaguing just about every industry and role, but the problem is nearing crisis level for finding qualified tech workers. According to the Wall Street Journal, demand for skillsets encompassing technology, digital transformation, data, engineering and information security grew by 83% from 2020 to 2021.

Those shortages are brewing at the highest reaches of the information-technology job ladder to the role of the Chief Information Officer. When a CIO departs, a replacement may not be immediately forthcoming. Experts say that hires that used to take just a couple months now can take up to six months, and sometimes longer. Not having someone at the helm for that long can have a significant negative impact on the enterprise. But because of the urgency, investment dollars, breadth of technology-related initiatives and exposure to the board, it is essential to have someone in the seat to ensure accountability and progress. Interim CIOs are being utilized to maintain continuity with oversight of transformational objectives to include security, stakeholder management and data transformation.

The best-case scenario is for CIOs to abide by succession plans, grooming successors and advising them for years to come. But given the exhaustive efforts CIOs have had to endure since the start of the pandemic, many are simply leaving with little advance notice.

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