CIO succession planning in the digital age

The gold rush for tech talent means CIOs must stack creative and deep leadership benches. Here, CIOs explain how they groom high potentials for C-suite roles.

CIO succession planning in the digital age
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Hiring and retaining talent to keep pace with competition and market demands is a big part of a CIO's job. Equally as important is grooming successors, or IT leaders with the technology chops and management skills to keep the business humming in the event the CIO departs.

It’s a critical task at a time when many enterprises are struggling to fill IT roles, let alone the right leadership. Only 35 percent of 1,300 senior executives surveyed say they have the leadership capabilities required for digital transformation, according to research issued by Capgemini and MIT in July.

Owens Corning CIO Steven Zerby says CIOs must find time to help groom candidates who have "big jobs" as heads of infrastructure or application development for the CIO role. Zerby says it's crucial for CIOs let candidates see what they do as CIOs, such as how they interact with business partners in meetings. "The trick is carving off time for them to be watching and learning," he says.

There is no yellow brick road to succession planning. CIOs take many paths to prepare for their absence, from pairing high potentials with business executives, to working with the human resources to craft a future leadership matrix. Here CIOs share their approaches to bringing prospective IT leaders along, an increasingly important responsibility in the digital age.

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