As one of the senior executives responsible for managing information, technology, and computer systems, the job of a Chief Information Officer is never easy. Most CIOs have to spend a lot of time completing tasks like developing strategies, recruiting talented professionals, and coordinating between other executives and the IT staff. Though these things are definitely challenging, CIOs typically agree that the toughest part of the job is being responsible for certain types of their respective companies’ much larger decisions.

Cancelling a Project

CIOs sometimes run into problems when a project is either clearly not working or is no longer needed. Terminating this type of project is tricky because team members have often invested a lot of effort into it by the time the project needs to be canceled. CIOs need to be able to carefully consider budget, strategy, and time priorities. They also have to be careful not to fall into the sunk cost fallacy of assuming they might as well finish the project just because so much time and money has already been poured into it. Knowing when to pull the plug can keep more resources from being wasted.

Handling Major Changes

Technological fields are changing all the time, and CIOs have to be able to keep up with these changes. A lot of the hard choices that CIOs often encounter are things related to rapid technology changes. They have to decide if they want to pivot to new strategies that employ technological advancements or stick with trusted methods of handling business. These types of decisions are hard because they require a thorough knowledge of one’s industry and confidence in one’s own expertise in the subject.

Terminating Employees

One of the top challenges CIOs face can be having to terminate a valued employee. Since CIOs work closely with people involved in finance, they are often one of the first areas to start cutting employees when there are changes to budgets and business needs. CIOs also happen to struggle with firing employees who are not cut out for the job. Though it might seem incompassionate to get rid of these employees, people in these leadership positions need to remind themselves that it is not fair to the entire team as a whole to keep underperforming workers on board.