by Martha Heller

What Would You Ask Your CIO Peers?

Aug 26, 20143 mins
CareersCIOIT Jobs

The advice you'd seek at an executive roundtable you control.

CIO roundtable

Lately, I’ve been asking CIOs, “If you had a chance to convene a roundtable of CIOs, from multiple industries, and ask them to discuss their approach to a particular challenge that you are facing, what would you ask them?”

The questions these CIOs would ask their peers run the gamut from digital leadership to security to talent to technology. I chronicle many of their questions here, so that you might be able to benchmark your own challenges against theirs. 

 Business Partners:

  • How have you changed the conversation about IT from one of cost to one of value?
  • How do you get your business partners to stop viewing projects as “technology” projects and get them to take accountability for making these projects a success?
  • How are you bringing business leaders together to develop a common business architecture?
  • How are you changing your culture so that your business partners are actually using the data that IT can now provide?
  • What are the ingredients for successful IT governance?


  • How are you driving digital change in an old, traditional company?
  • I would love to hear about mainframe modernization exercises that other CIOs are doing.  How are you leveraging state of the art technologies to improve your business?
  • How are CIOs considering their role in digital leadership?  Supporting or leading?


  • When it comes to cybersecurity, how do you reach a level of comfort to assure your Board of Directors that you are doing enough?


  • What is the real impact of the SaaS trend that we are seeing in the industry? How will it impact staffing and service? What will the IT service delivery model look like in five years?
  • How have you derived value out of social media for your company?
  • I would want to talk about the consumerization of enterprise IT.  What are some elegant, simple solutions for mirroring what is happening in consumer technology for a corporate environment?


  • How have you taught better business acumen and project management skills to your staff?
  • How do you get your senior IT leaders to think more broadly and strategically about applying technology solutions to business problems?


  • How have you gotten your vendors to deliver the quality of work they promise when you are negotiating terms?
  • How have you gotten your vendors to behave like true partners?

Of course, these questions beg many more questions.  What questions would you ask your CIO peers? Please post a comment and let us know!