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The roles and responsibilities of CIOs

What is the definition of chief information officer and what are the responsibilities, roles, and issues surrounding CIOs?

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There's more than one book to be written on the role of the CIO and the surrounding issues and challenges!! It may be most effective to summarize what the role is and what it isn't.

A Chief Information Office should have influence and oversight over all the information technology-related spend in an organization. It is a truly strategic role ensuring the organization develops and maintains its information processing and digital assets in line with the company's business goals. Usually this will encompass multiple business units.

To compare briefly with other key roles, a Chief Technology Officer will typically drive a strategic technical capability for the organization, usually encompassing significant web-based customer and business solutions. An IT Director will typically be a strategic specialist within a larger corporate IT function (headed by a CIO) or responsible for all IT within a smaller business or corporate division.

The roles and use of titles are still evolving in many organizations. The CIO role is however now established as an important strategic role on most boards.

This was first published in December 2004

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