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November 19, 2014

CIO a respected candidate to replace CEO

CIOs have 'earned the right' to be considered

By Vinod

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of Asia-Pacific business leaders believe a CIO should be a candidate for replacing the chief executive, according to research.

A survey of 1,000 senior executives in the region by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and sponsored by Hitachi Data Systems, found CIOs have won the respect of the rest of the business.

Most (89 per cent) technology chiefs already play a strategic role in their firm beyond IT management, and there is broad agreement (84 per cent) for CIOs to be involved in business-critical decisions at an early stage.

"CIOs have earned the right to be considered a candidate for CEO, alongside their c-level counterparts, but it will take more to secure the top job," said James Chambers, senior editor at The EIU.

"Ambitious candidates will need to take the initiative to develop their own knowledge and spend time in other parts of the business as they explore ways of creating a competitive edge for their organisations."

However, there is disagreement in the survey about the skills and experience CIOs need to acquire in order to advance their careers.

The top priorities for CIOs are IT-related skills, while CEOs are calling for technology heads to broaden their skill set through a better understanding of the business.

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Looking ahead, three quarters of executives from across the region believe the CIO should be expected to generate revenue.

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