Should the CIO Run HR, Too?, article in CIO Insight

December 26, 2011
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Rarely have IT and HR been led by the same individual. But similarities between these departments, combined with the need to think creatively about each, has caused some progressive companies to consider this combined role. Sheleen Quish is, perhaps, the most prominent example of this. After leading IT departments at Unitrin and U.S. Can, she joined Ameristar Casinos as CIO in early 2007 and soon took added responsibility for the HR department.

Here’s what she learned about managing this dual role.

by Peter High in CIO Insight

Human Resources and Information Technology executives often suffer from the same issues: They are relegated to running support organizations within the corporate structure. These are shared services that are leveraged by all parts of the company, but despite this ubiquity, team members in these divisions, and even their leaders, are often considered second-class citizens of the corporation. Yet, what is more important to your organization than recruiting and grooming great people? Likewise, the expectations of those team members, as well as those of your customers, demand that your technology be elegant and efficient.

The people who make up these two departments traditionally have been very different. Most IT professionals are engineers who are very analytical and who speak a language that is very different from the language used by the rest of the corporation. IT also tends to be male dominated. HR departments are typically made up of people with liberal arts and organizational design backgrounds. HR has tended to be progressive in hiring female leaders. Given these differences, rarely have IT and HR been led by the same individual. Discovering similarities between these departments, combined with the need to think creatively about each, has caused some progressive companies to consider this combined role.

To read the remainder of the article, please visit CIO Insight.

To listen to Sheleen’s podcast interview with us, please visit Metis Strategy’s Forum on World Class IT.

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