CIO job description guide

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What is a CIO?

The CIO, also known as the Chief Information Officer, is the most senior technology executive within an organisation’s C-suite. They are responsible for setting the strategy, and leading the tech teams within the company.

Note that the terms CIO and CTO (Chief Technology Officer) are often used interchangeably, but they are often very different roles.


What should be included in a CIO job description?

The primary responsibility of CIOs is to oversee the direction of an organisation’s IT departments, as well as oversee major projects and department strategies

They are also responsibility to:

  • Assess, maintain, and upgrade current IT and data systems and processes
  • Oversee the IT department(s) and set strategy and direction
  • Ensure ongoing performance of networks and computer systems
  • Plan and implement installation of new IT equipment and systems
  • Troubleshooting and crisis management
  • Recruit IT staff
  • Budgeting and approving software/IT-related purchases
  • Direct and oversee IT projects
  • Stay up-to-date on all developments in their field

What skills and qualifications should a CIO have?

While a tertiary education in computer science, software development or engineering is recommended, it is not required. However, extensive management experience, particularly within the IT field, is essential.

Other required skills and experiences for a Chief Information Officer include:

  • In-depth knowledge of IT systems and architecture
  • Management and leadership experience
  • Understanding budgeting, recruiting, and business operations
  • In-depth knowledge of data administration
  • Good knowledge of cyber-security and ongoing threats

Soft skills list:

  • High level problem solving
  • Analytical mindset
  • Leadership/management
  • Organisation
  • Project management
  • Presentation
  • Communication
  • Teamwork

How much does a CIO earn?

$150,000 - $380,000

A Chief Information Officer salary is determined typically by the number of years of experience, soft and technical skills, and the scale of responsibilities in the organisation. To find out what a CIO is earning this year, download our complimentary Robert Half Salary Guide.

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