Chief Information Officer

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Description of Chief Information Officer. Explanation.



Chief Information Officer

Definition Chief Information Officer. Description.

A Chief Information Officer (CIO) is the most senior company executive responsible for the Information Strategy, Information Architecture, information technology and information processes within the firm.


Chief Information Officer vs. Chief Technology Officer

The CIO role is sometimes used interchangeably with the role of Chief Technology Officer, although they differ slightly. When both of these positions are present in a large organization, the CIO is normally responsible for the strategy, processes and practices supporting the flow of information, whereas the CTO is generally responsible for the technology infrastructure.

Depending on the size and type of the organization as well as other factors, the Chief Information Officer typically (but not necessarily) reports to the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer or to the Chief Operating Officer.

CIO Roles and CIO Responsibilities

  • Business Partner: Participate in business strategy and process improvement.
  • Decision Support: Information analytics. Open up and analyze databases.
  • Classic IT Support: IT organization and service levels
  • Contract Management: Relationships IT vendors, contract management
  • Integrator: IT architecture, systems integration
  • IT Strategist: IT vision, IT strategy, knowledge management
  • IT Education: Evangelize value of IT for the organization

Shift from technology and systems to strategic use of information

Although CIO's originally had a technical (computer) background, increasingly leadership capabilities, business acumen and strategic perspectives have taken precedence over technical skills and it is quite common for CIOs to be appointed from the business side of the organization to facilitate Strategic Alignment.

Furthermore, because information and knowledge management have become so important for any organization, the CIO has come to be viewed in many organizations as a key contributor in formulating the overall business strategy.

Chief Information Officer Special Interest Group

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Compare with: Chief Executive Officer  |  Chief Procurement Officer  |  Chief Operating Officer  |  Chairman of the Board  |  Corporate Governance

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