The biggest issues CIOs face today

From security management to seeking out innovative technologies, CIOs are straddling operational and transformational roles to deliver new wins while keeping IT humming.

The biggest issues CIOs face today

CIO Sue Workman’s to-do list grows longer and more diverse every year. A string of strategic initiatives under way at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio where she works has her straddling both operational and transformational IT responsibilities.

“I really do try to stay in the strategic,” she says. “I have the direct report staff that really handles most of the operations, but the IT buck stops with me. I want to make sure that we’re pushing efficiencies and utilizing our resources in the best way that we can.”

Workman isn’t alone. The majority of IT leaders today are caught in a balancing act, having to split time between transformational leadership and innovation, and the functional requirements that characterize the traditional CIO role. In fact, despite the increasing drumbeat for digital transformation, 87 percent of respondents to the 2018 State of the CIO survey said they are still juggling standard IT operational tasks.

The gravitational pull of security issues, budget battles, and system and architecture headaches can tug IT leaders away from projects that can move the organization forward, but CIOs are finding ways to address the operational challenges that are pulling their focus, and re-centering on the transformational.

Here are the five most pressing issues that CIOs are facing today — and how several IT executives are tackling them.

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