5 things CIOs want from their CEOs 

While most executives understand the importance of having a tech-savvy and digital focused business, CIOs can feel frustrated with the disconnect between the board and their departments, a McKinsey report published Dec. 1 suggests. 

McKinsey consulted 120 senior tech leaders and 30 senior business leaders over the last 18 months to find out how CEOs and senior executives can support CIOs. Here are five key lessons that came out of the discussions:

1. CIOs want their CEOs to understand the value of tech 

CIOs should articulate the inherent value of tech and provide a tangible timeline for how tech projects can create that value . To gain board support, CIOs should be able to provide evidence of constant progress in special tech projects against meaningful performance indicators.

2. CIOs want their CEOs to establish priorities

IT departments often serve many masters, with various departments requesting support making it difficult for CIOs to create integrated solutions. Boards and CEOs should create clear strategies for the CIO to prioritize.

3. CIOs want their CEOs to make the company attractive to top tech talent 

Bringing the CIO onto the executive board signals the importance of the department. It also allows the CIO to aid in decision-making on recruiting and hiring talent. 

4. CIOs want their CEOs to understand tech limitations

There is sometimes a disconnect between the board and IT department in understanding the efficiency of systems and what strategies or changes are feasible. CIOs should make clear the state of tech systems and operations so the board can make meaningful decisions.

5. CIOs want their CEOs to increase their technical literacy

With sufficient technological literacy, executives can become better partners to CIOs and IT teams. The discussions at board level will then increase and become more productive. 

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