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iTTi Gloss: CIO (Chief Information Officer)

Thursday, 20 February 2014 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

Chief information officer (CIO): The most senior official of the enterprise who is accountable for IT advocacy, aligning IT and business strategies, and planning, resourcing and managing the delivery of IT services, information and the deployment of associated human resources.” Source: ISACA. "Glossary", 2014.


The approach to evaluating IT investment also begins to change as it becomes obvious that the contribution of IT cannot be meaningfully separated from the wider impacts of the strategic initiatives in which that investment is embedded.

the CIO potentially becomes a more proactive 'business visionary.' … the CIO starts to be one of the main drivers of strategy by recognizing the emerging capabilities and applications of information technology, and arguing their significance to the business.”. Source: J.W.Ross and D.F.Feeny. “The Evolving Role of the CIO”. MIT, August 1999.


The CIO’s role is rapidly evolving. We have characterized the CIOs who are leading the change as Reincarnate CIOs. Among other characteristics, the Reincarnate CIO is one who:

  • Focuses as much on business as on technology, as much on strategy as on operations;

  • Is as accountable to the CEO and business unit heads, with whom he or she works to shape strategy, as he or she is to the COO and CFO, with whom he or she works to increase operational efficiency and contain costs;

  • Views IT more as a transformer of the business than an enabler of the business;

  • Develops capabilities that create a career path extending beyond the IT function.

Source: Khorana, Shami. “What Do CIOs Want?”. CIO INSIGHT, March, 8, 2013.  




The CIO is responsible for the execution of the IT strategy. MIT's Weill and Ross went further on naming her the SEO (Strategy Execution Officer), underlining that not al CIOs would become SEO.


Related perspective(-s):


1.- iTTi Gloss: Benefits Realization

2.- iTTi Gloss: Enterprise Architecture

3.- iTTi Gloss: Alignment

4.- iTTi Gloss: Accountability 


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