CIOs have a tough job these days

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Chief information officers (CIOs) have a tough job in today's enterprise.

They are expected to not only perform their traditional roles of overseeing IT infrastructure and service delivery, but also to be the chief innovation officer and chief risk management officer.

The CIO's role is shifting from glorified IT administrator and babysitting IT infrastructure and security to holistic risk management, particularly with the increasing use of BYOD, social media and cloud computing in the enterprise. A recent survey by Ernst & Young found that a third of CIOs anticipate an increase in security incidents at their enterprise as a result of these developments.

I wrote a story for FierceEnterpriseCommunications about a Gartner study that shows CIOs are questioning their roles in their enterprises. It is clear from Gartner's analysis that the challenges CIOs face are numerous, and their futures are multifold.

Leaders of forward-thinking organizations understand the need for a more expanded role for the CIO. These organizations are likely to employ CIOs who can take systemic approaches to IT and security issues that span legal, business operations, finance and human resources.

It is apparent that CIOs will need skills that go far beyond IT, as they are being asked to take on a lot more responsibility in their organization. To be successful, CIOs will need to master communication, business and leadership skills, in addition to their IT knowledge.

A CIO at a healthcare facility recently told me that he feels like the acronym CIO stands for "career is over." It's time for top management to understand and appreciate the increasing demands being placed on CIOs in this rapidly changing enterprise communications environment. And more resources wouldn't hurt either. -Fred