Gartner Research

Making the Transition From CIO to COO

Published: 14 April 2014

ID: G00260054

Analyst(s): Barbara Gomolski, Colleen Young


As the line between technology and operations continues to blur, the role of COO may be in reach for more CIOs. CIOs should use this research to better understand the opportunities and risks of moving into the COO role, and to gain insights about the role itself.

Table Of Contents


  • Drivers for the CIO-to-COO Opportunity
  • Scoping the Opportunity
  • The State of the COO Role Today
  • The Prospect for CIOs With COO Ambitions
  • Should More Enterprises Have COOs?
  • The Role of the COO
  • What Makes a Successful COO?
    • Bidirectional Servant Leadership
    • Strategies and Innovations That Will Bring the CEO's Vision to Life
    • Execute — Both Operationally and Strategically
  • Obstacles Along the Way
  • Career Path Strategies
  • How Have Others Done It?

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Purchase this Document

To purchase this document, you will need to register or sign in above

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.