The CIO Question

September 7, 2008
By H. Mosher

In this month's Incoming column, Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.) poses questions about the nature of CIO positions-their lack of a typical specific qualification list or consistent job description, the trend in CIOs working on management degrees, their lack of strategic decision-making authority. He writes:

Why is the job of chief information officer, especially in the public sector, so difficult? Is it ill-defined, misunderstood, threatening or powerless? Are qualified people assigned, and are salary and compensation levels adequate? These are good questions that represent problems expressed by many chief information officers.

Good questions, to be sure, but the other issues he raises may point to a changing tide in CIO positions as they become more strategy and management focused while remaining technologically fluent. You can read the original article here, but in the meantime, that leads us to this month's Incoming question:

For as nebulous a job description as the chief information officer seems to have, what qualities and skills does one need to have to be an excellent government sector CIO?

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Many Greetings,

Someone has finally hit the nail smack dab in the middle of the head. We really need to define the prerequisites of becoming a CIO and not just say anyone with a management background can manage and do the job of the CIO. This issue has been a thorn I my side for years. Being technically proficient and having very good people skills is a must. .

Anthony Crump
Robins AFB

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