The Chief Information Officer or CIO is a job title for the head of the information technology group within an organization. The CIO typically reports to the chief executive officer. In military organizations, they report to the commanding officer or commanding general of the organization.
The prominence of this position has risen greatly as information technology has become a more important part of business. The CIO may be a member of the executive board of the organization, but this is dependent on the type of organization.
No specific qualification is typical of CIOs in general; every CIO position has its own specific job description. In the past, many had degrees in computer science, software engineering, or information systems, but this is by no means universal. Many were technical staff. More recently CIOs' leadership capabilities, business acumen and strategic perspectives have taken precedence over technical skills. It is now quite common for CIOs to be appointed from the business side of the organization.
Due to the short tenure of many CIOs, CIO is sometimes facetiously ascribed the backronym of "career is over." One recent survey shows an average turnover rate of 5.7 years.
The CIO role has in some cases been expanded to become the chief knowledge officer. The CIO role is also sometimes used interchangeably with the chief technology officer role, although they may be slightly different. When both positions are present in an organization, the CIO is generally responsible for processes and practices supporting the flow of information, whereas the CTO is generally responsible for technology infrastructure.
Chief Information Officer (CIO) is a job title commonly given to the person in an enterprise responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals. As information technology and systems have become more important, the CIO has come to be viewed in many organizations as a key contributor in formulating strategic goals. Typically, the CIO in a large enterprise delegates technical decisions to employees more familiar with details. Usually, a CIO proposes the information technology an enterprise will need to achieve its goals and then works within a budget to implement the plan.
Typically, a CIO is involved with analyzing and reworking existing business processes, with identifying and developing the capability to use new tools, with reshaping the enterprise's physical infrastructure and network access, and with identifying and exploiting the enterprise's knowledge resources. Many CIOs head the enterprise's efforts to integrate the Internet and the World Wide Web into both its long-term strategy and its immediate business plans.
Quotes about CIO
There was no one who could look at a three- or five-year business plan and say, "These are the IT resources I think we should include in our projects, Box says. 80-hour work weeks? That's not to suggest, however, that the joint CFO-CIO role doesn't pose some significant challenges. Each of the positions on its own usually takes up more than 40 hours a week, so executives who hold dual jobs face some logistical pressure. Hopkins, for instance, estimates that he's putting in 80 to 100 hours a week at World Telecom.In When the CIO is also the CFO
The weakness is truly that the CFO part of the job overshadows the CIO part to a large degree.In When the CIO is also the CFO
I don't want to overemphasize CIO's dependency on contractors, consultants and managed services: indeed they're also making key hires in many areas, but it's clear demand for full-time workers outside the services sector in particular has not gained the kind of momentum that many analysts and pundits had been predicting this year.David Foote in Analysts Find 2010 IT Hiring Picture to Be Meager