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Midmarket CIOs: Fundamentally Essential

By Allan Alter  |  Posted 04-04-2008 Print

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For midmarket CIOs, strategy usually takes a back seat to keeping information systems and infrastructure operational. But midtier companies’ reliance on their CIOs remains strong.

Midmarket companies are just as dependent on information technology as organizations several times their size. That makes today's midtier CIO a crucial member of the executive team.

More than big corporations with large IT staffs, these companies require the CIO to play a hands-on role in designing and running the IT infrastructure. That requires midmarket CIOs to possess critical IT skills, while placing less of a premium on business skills. Most CIOs at big and small companies alike tend to be career IT professionals with a strong project management background.

However, most midmarket CIOs don't have MBAs, and are more likely to have experience as IT architects. This operations- and technology-focused role in smaller companies leaves plenty of room for influence, even if these CIOs are less focused on strategy: Most midmarket CIOs report to the CEO and participate in business decisions as much or more frequently than CIOs at big companies.

What's missing for small-business CIOs? The bigger salaries of their Fortune 1000 counterparts.



 

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