How the CIO Can Have a Successful Relationship with the CEO

Today’s technology-driven world has only amplified the necessity of a CIO. However, technology is not all that matters in the IT world. In an article for TechRadar, Rene Millman elaborates on the area a CIO must never underestimate: having a positive relationship with the CEO.


One of the biggest factors in a CIO and CEO relationship is understanding what the CEO wants. Presently, it is expected that IT systems should be able to arrive at actionable conclusions, as well as deliver better business insights. Additionally, they are expected to incorporate intelligence abilities that both better analyze past performance and better anticipate future occurrences. Businesses today need to be able to identify market trends, and now how to best align with them.

It is only fair that if the CIO is going to be there for the CEO, that the CIO gets something in return. The CIO would likely expect support for business vision and business line management. Basically, the CEO presents the CIO with ideas, as well as supports the CIO in board meetings.

CEOs and CIOs speak in different languages. The CIO is accustomed to very technical, detailed language about very complicated technological elements. It is in the CIO’s best interest to water down this jargon so that the CEO understands the conversation. This will help to prevent any communication gaps or complications down the line. Agreeing on expectations helps to make the desired outcomes clear and build necessary trust.

Part of making the CIO and CEO relationship work is acknowledging that the CIO role in the organization is constantly evolving. For example, CIOs are now tasked with the responsibility of the organization’s results, something that previously was a job for, for instance, the VP of marketing.

CIOs are visionaries that are able to see the broad, big picture. Communication lines needs to be clear and relationships strong, or the CIO can never effectively do their job. You can read the original article here:

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