The five essential ingredients for being a great CIO - how many do you have?

The qualities shared by real IT leaders...

...strong commercial acumen, while being able to state clearly how technology helps push the transformation of the business. But even that mix is probably not enough for the future CIO.

"IT leaders need an intense focus on emerging technology and an equally strong focus on people. CIOs need to think about innovation and communication, and to concentrate on how technology can be shaped to give the business an advantage."

"You can iterate but, when it comes to innovation, there's still a key time between implementation and introduction. That focus relies on communication. About 98 per cent of being a good CIO is about focusing on people."

5. Empower your team

Asos.com IT director Dan West says a successful CIO needs to get the basics right, where they build credibility and then deliver technology. From that platform, technology leaders can put a vision in place and make sure they have the right leadership strategy for the business.

"You need to understand business dynamics and have a resilient character. You'll have to take the knocks. You also need to relate to the key business challenges of other executives in the organisation. You need to have a strong vision of where IT wants to go and how you'll create improvements for the business," says West.

The pace of business change continues to increase and a good CIO simply cannot do everything, according to West: "Empower people - your success as a CIO is all about the people who run technology for the business," he says.

"That empowerment relies on good communication. I have trusted people at Asos who I know will make the right, detailed decisions. You can't be a technologist to run IT. You need to be able to see value for the business. IT stewardship is all about results through leadership."