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3 Critical Competencies of the Modern CIO

30/04/2014 by


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about CIOs and the skills they need to be successful during the age of information.  My quest is the definitive “Ten Critical Competencies of the Modern CIO,” and I’m getting there.

My conversation with Steve Little, CIO of Xerox, was particularly helpful in this regard.  Little has been a CIO for more than 20 years, and through a discussion we had a few weeks ago, I was able to put some key competencies on the list.

The Ability to Make the Complex Simple

In 2012, Carol Zierhoffer, CIO of Xerox, called Little, with whom she had previously worked with at ITT.  Xerox was struggling with a European ERP roll out, and Zierhoffer asked Little to head over to Europe to see what was wrong.

“I’m a simple guy,” says Little. “And the only way for me to understand a problem is to break it down into its smallest parts.  When I showed up in the U.K., I asked the business sponsor to show me the architecture, and what I saw was very complicated.

Business leaders at Xerox, says Little, were so focused on the complexity of the Xerox business – including licensing arrangements, a global supply chain and distribution nuances, that they wound up with a set of business processes that mitigated the benefits of an ERP.

Little commuted to London for six months and led the program to a successful implementation, and in 2013, when Zierhoffer left Xerox to become CIO of Bechtel, Little was hired as Xerox’s new CIO.

This article has been extracted from, please click on this link to read the article in full

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