CIOs are not necessarily from IT; they can come from all parts of the company. Indeed, when I was a corporate dude running around the hall of a Global 2000 company, I often reported to a CIO who came from the accounting group or from production.

CIOs were almost always political animals, focused more on interpersonal relationships with the other executives than on the technical tasks at hand. And that’s not always a bad thing because they do tend to obtain fatter budgets for IT. Still, at times it felt like the guy who was supposed to be driving the ship had no idea how to steer it.

Enter the cloud. Here CIOs have a real opportunity to shine by making things cheaper and more agile. Or they may make themselves look foolish by passing up some real opportunities to change for the better. As a result, I see increasing numbers of CIOs out of a job because they mishandle the cloud shift.

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