The CIO Lifecycle

Anil Ranjan, Sr. Solution Architect for a Reputed Firm | Monday, 07 September 2020, 05:01 IST

THe CIO LIfecycle

Anil has worked as VP/Head-IT (Infra, Network, Security, Audit ,Compliance, ERP, Cloud). With a broad range of industry experience, Anil has been awarded with a number CIO awards like Eminent CIO’s of India 2018 by Varindia, and InfoSec Maestro Award 2015 (Top 100 CISO).

Head-IT/CIO/CISO is so prestigious position as it’s not easy to reach there but once you are there, it’s your skill, Networking, Office Politics, company performance and some other factor like your time devotion for company, your relation with your boss/CEO decides your stability. Your Luck also matters in stability.

In current era any type of business depends upon IT. Even in manufacturing or Non-IT industry where IT is counted as supporting department and as an expensive department, in realty, it’s main department. Just imagine if IT Infra is down then office Mail, ERP, CRM, WIFI, Internet, IOT, RPA all are down so what another department can do? Nothing, they will sit idle till the time IT Infra is UP.

In most cases CIO/Head-IT are highly qualified like M.Tech/B.Tech+ MBA from prestigious institute and multiple IT certification and with 15+ Yr. Experience in different domain and technology. He takes executive decisions regarding the purchase of IT equipment or the creation of new IT systems. As a business leader, the CIO/Head-IT is responsible for leading and directing the workforce of their specific organization. He is an Innovator & Creator, he is a Risk taker, Forward Thinker, Strategy maker, Good Negotiator, Business Developer and sometime can work as an L-3 resource also to solve a critical IT problem. In case of cyber-attack or natural calamity or ransom-ware attack he has to prove his BCP/DR planning and leadership skill. Live example is current Corona lockdown period, it’s CIO/IT Head planning only, if everything works smoothly in any organization. CISO role also is unique, he knows, how security can enhance our customers' trust in our brand. The CISO’s role is all about managing information security risk throughout the data lifecycle. CISO knows, where the critical data is located and how to protect this data while supporting the business’ objectives.

In current time there are multiple IT resource, who have same type of skill set + Experience and they are available at high and low salary both so of course it’s challenge for HR and management also to filter out resource as per their requirement. After crossing all the hurdles of Interviews, Psychological test ..etc one person is selected as CIO/IT-Head/CISO. Once selected, he feels so proud of himself and devotes his full strength and time for organization to prove himself and to fulfill the organization expectation.

Sometimes It’s said that if IT resource in your organization is sitting idle means everything is fine and if they are busy then there is some problem. But in real world, un-said thing is also that if IT resource is sitting idle, management can think to reduce the resource or cost and after reducing the resource if problem happens and if there is any down time then CIO/Head-IT/CISO have to face that consequences.

Suppose CIO/IT-Head/CISO survives for a 3-4 year and if any economy slowdown comes or due to some other reason company is in loss then cost cutting starts. Now there is different scenario, if CIO/IT-Head/CISO has a good successor, who can take care of IT then he is at full risk and can lose his job and if there is no good successor then he has to reduce his team member and he has to manage all the responsibility. Here office politics and your relationship with your boss matters a lot.

If he survived this, then he is lucky and if not, then his struggle starts. If his skill set is updated and GOD is happy with his prayer, then he can get same level job immediately otherwise he is at his home with his laptop to search the job or do networking for reference. One-month crosses easily and then stress starts to haunt, he becomes irritate because normal expense and loan EMI continues. He is offered lower profile by Job consultant and he becomes angrier. After 2-3 months also if not gets same level then he accepts lower profile, he joins at Sr. Manager/AVP level, he must follow his boss instruction. Sometimes he knows that some decision is wrong, but nobody listen to him as he is at lower level. Yes, he can pass his comment to his boss and boss can get benefit of that or discard that. He knows very well all things as he has crossed that path to reach CIO/CISO level but now once again he must cross the same path till the time he gets any job at his previous level. It seems like Snake and Ladder game. In some snake and ladder game board, after 98 there is a big snake, so if after 98 he reaches 99 then will come down to bottom level and then he has to cross all points to reach there again or if he gets any ladder in between, he will cross some step faster.

He can give a very profitable businessoperational idea but that will be counted as a threat to top level management employee of that company so he will be hinted to be at his level only or can loss the job as no one will allow to jump him over. It’s really very hard time for CIO/Head-IT/CISO level.

He can start his own business, if he has good financial background or can-do consultancy in his expertise area. Yes, some are lucky also who gets same level job one after another.

Suggestion: CIO/Head-IT/CISO must have good saving to survive at least one year, in case of job loss. Should have some political connection and good friends in real, not only Facebook/LinkedIn. On LinkedIn/Facebook you may have thousands of connects but that doesn’t work mostly in bad time.

Some Entertainment:

I think, CIO/Head-IT/CISO must be an astrologer also or should have astrology consultant so that he can get some hope, when his birth calculation says that after 1-2 year, he will be successful again. Without any hope, we all become so hopeless and depressed. We all know about gems/stones, hawan-poojan but we only test them in bad time because we are with science background/Engineering graduate and believe in evidences. I have seen working that sometime, may be because got success just after that and It happens only in India.


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