For Juliano, marketing was a challenging, but welcome, change of pace. "CIOs too often live in a world of binary answers," he says. "Marketing represented greater use of the other side of my brain. The creative aspects, the personalities, the motivations are very different from IT."
The dual role doesn't work everywhere. "Industries with traditionally strong marketing groups are less likely to see CIOs with shared responsibility for customer-facing functions," says Nigel Fenwick, vice president and principal analyst with Forrester Research. And CIOs without business experience are more likely to struggle with the urgency of customer interactions. But the most important job requirement may be enthusiasm. "It is a challenge," says Goodman. "CIOs have to ask themselves if they really have the passion for it."
Read more about data management in CIO's Data Management Drilldown.