The end of the year and its accompanying office parties and food-filled family gatherings are upon us, and SearchCIO.com has some tasty treats for you as well. Before you check out for the holidays, dive into this bountiful feast of the top 12 information technology news, tips, templates and guides SearchCIO.com rolled out in 2012. These most-read IT stories -- counting down to our most-read piece of the year -- should help enterprise CIOs improve not only their organizations, but also their own leadership and strategic planning abilities going into 2013. Consider these our holiday gift to our favorite readers.
12. The CIO job: Ten skills needed to land the top position
SearchCIO.com did quite a bit of legwork for this one, scouring the CIO job postings from large organizations across 15 industries to find the top 10 desired talents. So, are you satisfied in your current position or are you looking for a change? For more on these topics, see TechTarget's broad coverage of our IT Salary Survey 2012.
11. Free project scope statement templates for the CIO
As if we couldn't have surmised it, we learned in 2012 that "free" is really popular with IT decision makers. These free project scope statement templates were popular among enterprise CIOs looking to brainstorm initiatives and achieve business goals. In the same arena, we sought out some of the best free IT strategic planning templates on the Web.
10. GE brings social collaboration to life with Colab
Our CIO Innovators series -- the winner of a 2012 Gold Azbee Award from the American Society for Business Publication Professionals, by the way -- is a one-stop shop for IT leaders looking for groundbreaking ideas and advice for innovations around IT. This No. 10 information technology news piece looked at how one company convinced 300,000 globally dispersed employees to embrace social collaboration.
9. Free social media policy template examples for enterprise CIOs
With social media embedded into everything personal and everything business, developing an enterprise-wide code of conduct is a top-of-mind concern for IT leaders. In addition to these free templates, check out our CIO Briefing on enterprise social media policies and strategies.
8. IT jobs caught in the middle of IT transformation
For better or worse, IT transformation can go hand in hand with the loss of IT jobs. In 2012, SearchCIO.com introduced weekly CIO Matters columns from the site's writers and editors, and our No. 8 information technology news story of 2012 was this one by Editorial Director Scot Petersen, which explores why, as IT becomes more strategic, it takes a more consultative role in the business.
7. Free IT service catalog templates for the CIO
More freebies! IT executives charged with sorting through IT service management in 2012 seemed to gravitate toward our pieces on IT service catalogs, which looked at how enterprises could ace technology-service delivery. In addition to IT service catalog examples, don't miss our IT organizational chart and mobile device policy template how-tos.
6. Guide to CIO roles and responsibilities
In this CIO Briefing -- one in a monthly SearchCIO.com series -- learn how CIOs' roles and responsibilities have expanded and evolved during the past year, and prep and strategize for the year ahead. Also popular in 2012: CIO Briefings on project management, enterprise mobile applications, the consumerization of IT and IT sustainability.
5. IT salary satisfaction survey shows CIO salaries dipped in 2011
Who doesn't want to know what their colleagues are making? The findings from last year's edition of SearchCIO.com's annual IT salary survey continued to make waves in 2012, given the dip in CIO salaries it revealed. The 2012 edition of the survey, however, showed an uptick, with IT leaders reporting modest raises in the past year. Does this spell good news for 2013?
4. CIO Decisions ezine: Project: Agile
2012 was a big year for the CIO Decisions ezine, which saw a complete redesign and a new monthly format. In this issue, released late last year but extremely well-read in 2012, learn how Agile project management approaches can benefit IT teams and deliver fast, effective results. You can check out all of our back issues of the CIO Decisions ezine here, including editions focused on disaster recovery in the cloud, mobile IT and network strategies, security policies around bring-your-own-device initiatives and social collaboration.
3. Slideshow: Six ways the CIO job description is changing
Data compiled in SearchCIO.com's annual Role of the CIO survey in 2012 pointed to a transformation in the CIO job description and the skills it entails. Are you, as a top-level IT executive, prepared to develop expertise in enterprise data management, vendor management, project management, and IT security and compliance? Click through our slideshow to find out which skills CIOs need to demonstrate in 2013.
2. IT salary survey: Highest- and lowest-paying industries
Seeking a higher paycheck and considering changing industries? Learn which ranked as the highest- and lowest-paying industries for IT professionals in last year's edition of our salary survey, and see if these same pay trends carried over in our 2012 results.
1. IT salary survey: Highest earners are cozy with business, hard on IT
SearchCIO.com's No. 1 most-read information technology news story of 2012 found that the highest earners among senior and midlevel IT leaders are markedly different from their lower-earning peers -- and not just in terms of their paychecks. Learn what these high-flying high earners are doing to excel in their chosen field, and watch our video on how CIOs set themselves apart from the pack.
Happy 2013 to all of our SearchCIO.com readers! We look forward to sharing the latest information technology news with you and yours in the year ahead.