Chapter 5

Skill Building for the IT Professional

Training, Training Plans, and Maintaining Skills

Rossella Derickson

The C-level officer's perspective encompasses the entire enterprise, so it is not surprising that the CIO role has shifted from technology “guru” to business strategist. In addition, the successful CIO must demonstrate mastery in planning, budgeting, and forecasting. This mastery includes effectively determining the skills needed by the CIO's team to successfully execute enterprise goals and initiatives.

Although IT professionals share responsibility for maintaining current their skills, successful CIOs will include staff development in their own organizational goals. Two key benefits of this objective are employee effectiveness and staff retention. Investment in employee training produces more valuable and skilled contributors, and staff development fosters increased retention of valuable employees.1

CIO Magazine's 2008 “State of the CIO” report2 found that 56 percent of surveyed CIOs said long-term strategic thinking and planning is the executive leadership skill most critical in their current role, followed by collaboration and influence (47 percent); and expertise running IT (39 percent). The rate of change among the responding CIOs dictates the need to be proactive in bringing solutions to their organizations rather than waiting for business units to present their needs to IT.

Regardless of the initial capabilities of the CIO's team, a plan for continuous IT ...

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