CIO’s Role amongst the Top 5 Challenging IT Jobs

by Sohini Bagchi    Jun 28, 2012

CIOs inevitably play a challenging role in an enterprise and this has been revealed in a recent survey by Emerson Network Power titled: “The Most Always-On IT Jobs.” This division of Emerson recently released a report on the most demanding technology roles in an organisation and found out that the top 5 demanding IT jobs are that of IT director, IT procurement team, CIO, IT manager and the CSO. The report is based on a survey of nearly 800 IT professionals in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the US that sought to determine the degree of their availability, efficiency and accuracy.

Amongst the most challenging technology roles is that of an IT director who needs to have hands-on involvement in every aspect of IT which includes strategic, operational and tactical. They are also expected to handle multiple projects, and their work requires a higher level of intelligence.

The CIO’s job scored the highest in the area of “dependencies and multi-tasking” as per the survey. Most CIOs/IT heads said that they are expected to work on several projects simultaneously and make important decisions quickly, and those decisions can be required any time. A number of CIOs also pointed out that their availability is of prime importance to take emergency calls at any time of the day.

The survey reveals that the CIO/IT head’s job includes motivating and orchestrating the work of others. “The ability to change gears as quickly as possible and communicate effectively at various levels can result in organisational success. For this team motivation plays a key role,” said Sushanta Chakraborty, IT Head of Priya Food Products Ltd, a Kolkata based biscuit manufacturer.
CIOs further indicate that apart from IT they are also responsible for a large part of the company’s budget.

The role of IT managers also includes juggling several projects simultaneously, solving problems quickly and working at peak capacity at all times. Ajay K Bhowal, VP-IT at Ambuja Realty Development Ltd. said, “As IT manager, one is often expected to work late into the nights and during weekends. This is because we should be available for any emergency and be on alert to deliver what is required to our clients.”

The IT security team including the CSO also has a demanding role to play, with agility and quick decision making at the top of their agenda. More than half of IT security respondents said that things are often out of their control while they are accountable can contribute in many situations – and this can lead to frustration, found the survey.

IT procurement officials including analysts, supervisors and consultants indicated they too handle multiple pressures such as dealing urgency, catering to clients in different time zones, staying up on the latest equipment and fulfilling the pressing staffing needs. Over 50 percent of these respondents noted they do not have control over their schedules or the time to deliver quality work.

The other significant challenging IT tasks include that of the operations, data center managers, engineers, application and software developers – most of them reporting that they work under pressure while troubleshooting various issues on a day to day basis, and often work under tight project deadlines.