CIO Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing CIO strategy and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

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  • #

    subscription management

    Subscription management is the process of overseeing and controlling all aspects of products and services sold repeatedly through a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription-based pricing model.

  • A

    academic analytics

    Academic analytic's is the application of business intelligence (BI) tools and strategies to guide decision-making practices in educational institutions.

  • Adobe Flash Player

    Adobe Flash Player is software used to stream and view video, audio and multimedia and Rich Internet Applications (RIA) on a computer or supported mobile device.

  • Agile business intelligence (BI)

    Agile business intelligence (BI) is a fast and flexible process that uses agile software development (ASD) methodologies to enable rapid development and allow users to efficiently adapt intelligence-based strategy to business needs.

  • Agile Manifesto

    The Agile Manifesto is a document that identifies four key values and 12 principles that its authors believe software developers should use to guide their work.

  • Agile Project Management

    Agile Project Management (APM) is an iterative approach to planning and guiding project processes, that breaks it down into smaller cycles called "sprints."

  • Apple iMessage (Apple instant message)

    Apple iMessage (Apple instant message) is an instant messenger service developed by Apple Inc. that allows users to send texts, documents, photos, videos, locations, contact information and group messages over Wi-Fi, 3G or LTE networks to other iOS or OS X users.

  • application modernization

    Application modernization is the refactoring, re-purposing or consolidation of legacy software programming to align it more closely with current business needs. The goal of an application modernization project is to create new business value from existing applications.

  • application transformation

    Application transformation is a process that aims to assess, modernize and manage applications in an enterprise organization.

  • artificial neuron

    An artificial neuron is a connection point in an artificial neural network. Artificial neural networks, like the human body's biological neural network, have a layered architecture and each network node (connection point) has the capability to process input and forward output to other nodes in the network.

  • atom

    An atom is a particle of matter that uniquely defines achemical element.

  • authentic leadership

    Authentic leadership is a type of management style in which people act in a real, genuine and sincere way that is true to who they are as individuals.

  • authoritarian leadership

    Authoritarian leadership is a management style in which an individual has total control over making decisions for a group or organization, with little or no input from his or her subordinates.

  • B

    B2B (business-to-business)

    B2B (business-to-business), a type of electronic commerce (e-commerce), is the exchange of products, services or information between businesses, rather than between businesses and consumers (B2C).

  • balanced scorecard

    The balance scorecard (BSC) is a management system aimed at translating an organization's strategic goals into a set of organizational performance objectives that, in turn, are measured, monitored, and changed if necessary to ensure that an organizations strategic goals are met.

  • benefit corporation

    Benefit corporation is a type of corporate structure recognized by some state governments in the United States. In addition to being profitable, a benefit corporation assumes the legal responsibility of considering its impact on society and the environment. 

  • big data as a service (BDaaS)

    Big data as a service (BDaaS) is the delivery of data platforms and tools by a cloud provider to help organizations process, manage and analyze large data sets so they can generate insights in order to improve business operations and gain a competitive advantage.

  • bimodal IT (bimodal information technology)

    Bimodal IT is a two-tiered IT operations model that allows for the creation of IT systems and processes that are stable and predictable as well as agile and fast.

  • black swan event

    A black swan event is an incident that occurs randomly and unexpectedly, and has a major effect on operations. The phrase illustrates the frailty of inductive reasoning and the danger of making sweeping generalizations from limited observations.

  • blockchain

    Blockchain is a record-keeping technology designed to make it impossible to hack the system or forge the data stored on it, thereby making it secure and immutable.

  • brand equity

    Brand equity is the perceived value a company gains by having a known name, logo or other identifier.

  • bring your own cloud (BYOC)

    BYOC is a movement whereby employees and departments use their cloud computing service of choice in the workplace. Allowing employees to use a public cloud storage service to share very large files may be more cost-effective than rolling out a shared storage system internally.

  • business agility (BA)

    Business agility (BA) is an concept whereby organizations seek to approach their operations and resources in a flexible, responsive manner.

  • business continuity management (BCM)

    Business continuity management (BCM) is a framework for identifying an organization's risk of exposure to internal and external threats.

  • business innovation

    Business innovation is an organization's process for introducing new ideas, workflows, methodologies, services or products.

  • business integration

    Business integration is a strategy wherein the goal is not only to sync IT and business cultures and objectives, but also to assimilate technology into business strategy and goals.

  • business model innovation

    Business model innovation is the implementation of unique concepts to support a company's viability, including the development of new processes for delivering products and services to customers.

  • business process

    A business process is an activity or set of activities that can accomplish a specific organizational goal.

  • business process automation (BPA)

    Business process automation (BPA) is the use of technology to complete business processes with minimal human intervention.

  • business process improvement (BPI)

    Business process improvement (BPI) is a management exercise in which enterprise leaders use various methodologies to analyze their procedures to identify areas where they can improve accuracy, effectiveness and/or efficiency and then redesign those processes to realize the improvements.

  • business process management (BPM)

    Business process management (BPM) is the discipline of improving a business process from end to end by analyzing it, modelling how it works in different scenarios, executing improvements, monitoring the improved process and continually optimizing it.

  • Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI)

    Established in August 2000, the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI) is a non-profit organization that exists to promote the standardization of common business processes, as a means of furthering e-business and B2B development.

  • business process management software

    Business process management software (BPMS) helps companies design, model, execute, automate and improve a set of activities and tasks that, when completed, achieve an organizational goal.

  • business process mapping

    Business process mapping is the visual display of every step involved in accomplishing a specific organizational goal.

  • Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)

    Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) is a method of illustrating business processes in the form of a diagram similar to a flowchart... (Continued)

  • business process monitoring

    Business process monitoring is real-time scrutiny of an activity or set of activities that have been set up to accomplish a specific organizational goal.

  • business process outsourcing (BPO)

    Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a business practice in which an organization contracts with an external service provider to perform an essential business task.

  • business process reengineering (BPR)

    Business process reengineering (BPR) is an approach to change management in which the related tasks required to obtain a specific business outcome are radically redesigned. An important goal of BPR is to analyze workflows within and between enterprises in order to optimize end-to-end processes and eliminate tasks that do not provide the customer with value.

  • business process visibility

    Business process visibility, also called process visibility, is the ability to accurately and completely view the processes, transactions and other activities operating within an enterprise. 

  • business resilience

    Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people, assets and overall brand equity.

  • business service management (BSM)

    Business service management (BSM) is an approach to overseeing information technology that emphasizes treating IT offerings as part of the larger enterprise strategy, and provisioning IT resources based on an understanding of the business' most pressing needs.

  • business services

    Business services is a general term that describes work that supports a business but does not produce a tangible commodity. 

  • business technology (BT)

    Business technology (BT) is a term that points specifically to the technology used by businesses to treat information.

  • C

    C-Level (C-Suite)

    C-level, also called the C-suite, is a term used to describe high-ranking executive titles in an organization.

  • CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

    The CEO, or chief executive officer, is the top position in an organization. CEOs are responsible for executing existing plans and policies, overseeing business management and setting future strategy.

  • CFO (Chief Financial Officer)

    CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is the corporate title for the person responsible for managing the company's financial operations and strategy.

  • change agent (agent of change)

    A change agent, or agent of change, is someone who promotes and enables change to happen within any group or organization.

  • change management

    Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes or technologies.

  • change management strategy

    A change management strategy is a systematic approach to making adjustments to the application of a set of tools, processes or skills during a project or initiative.

  • change request

    A change request is a formal proposal for an alteration to some product or system.

  • chief analytics officer

    The chief analytics officer is a C-level position responsible for data analysis within an organization.

  • chief architect (chief IT architect)

    In information technology (IT), a chief architect is a c-level executive whose job is to look closely at how IT functions can be centralized so that departments across the company can work together seamlessly.

  • chief data officer (CDO)

    A chief data officer (CDO) is a C-level executive who is responsible for an organization's data use and data governance.

  • Chief Digital Officer (CDO)

    A chief digital officer (CDO) is an executive enlisted to help businesses transform traditional IT policies and business processes to accommodate digital sectors such as mobile technology and applications and Web-based information management and marketing trends.

  • chief marketing technologist (CMT)

    A chief marketing technologist (CMT) is a C-level executive who sets a technology vision for the marketing team that aligns with business goals.

  • Chief Operating Officer (COO)

    A Chief Operating Officer (COO) is the corporate executive who oversees ongoing business operations within the company.

  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    A chief procurement officer (CPO) is an executive title commonly given to the person responsible for the strategic acquisition of goods and services at an organization. In addition to establishing the policies and processes to guide acquisitions, duties of a CPO include reducing costs and ensuring excellent supplier performance.

  • Chief Strategy Officer (CSO)

    A chief strategy officer (CSO), or chief strategist, is an executive charged with helping formulate, facilitate and communicate the overarching strategy of an organization, usually a large corporation.

  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

    The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is the individual within an organization who oversees the current technology and creates relevant policy.

  • Chief Transformation Officer (CTO)

    Chief transformation officer is an executive role, often in the C-suite, that focuses on bringing about change as well as growth in revenue and profit to an organization.

  • chief trust officer

    A chief trust officer in the IT industry is an executive job title given to the person responsible for building confidence around the use of customer information and how it is protected.

  • CIO (Chief Information Officer)

    A chief information officer (CIO) is the corporate executive in charge of information technology (IT) strategy and implementation.

  • CKO (chief knowledge officer)

    Chief knowledge officer (CKO) is a corporate title for the person responsible overseeing knowledge management within an organization.

  • cloud economics

    Cloud economics is the branch of knowledge concerned with the principles, costs and benefits of cloud computing.

  • CMO (chief marketing officer)

    A CMO (chief marketing officer) is a C-level corporate executive responsible for activities in an organization that have to do with creating, communicating and delivering offerings that have value for customers, clients or business partners.

  • collaboration specialist

    A collaboration specialist is an individual in charge of managing customer experience and implementing a collaborative platform across the enterprise in order to enhance the user experience and employee productivity, and collectively accomplish tasks.

  • collaborative computing

    Collaborative computing is a diverse collection of information technologies designed to support work between individuals. Organizations implementing collaborative computing technologies do so as a way to improve workforce productivity and creativity by enabling individual workers to more readily access each other and the information they need when they need it.

  • competitive advantage

    Competitive advantage is the favorable position an organization seeks in order to be more profitable than its rivals.

  • competitive differentiation

    Competitive differentiation is a strategic positioning tactic an organization can undertake to set its products, services and brands apart from those of its competitors.

  • consumer data

    Consumer data is the information trail customers leave behind as a result of their Internet use.

  • contingent workforce

    A contingent workforce is a labor pool whose members are hired by an organization on an on-demand basis. A contingent workforce consists of freelancers, independent contractors and consultants who are not on the company's payroll because they are not full-time employees of the organization.

  • coopetition (co-opetition)

    Coopetition is a business strategy that uses insights gained from game theory to understand when it is better for competitors to work together. 

  • core competency (core competencies)

    Core competency is an organization's defining strength, providing the foundation from which the business will grow, seize upon new opportunities and deliver value to customers.

  • corporate executive board

    A corporate executive board, or board of directors, oversees activities and strategic planning and decision making in an organization.

  • corportal (Corporate Portal)

    Corportal is short for "corporate portal."

  • critical success factors

    Critical success factors are a limited number of key variables or conditions that have a tremendous impact on how successfully and effectively an organization meets its mission or the strategic goals or objectives of a program or project.

  • cross-functional team

    A cross-functional team is a workgroup made up of employees from different functional areas within an organization who collaborate to reach a stated objective.

  • crowdsourcing

    Crowdsourcing is the practice of turning to a body of people to obtain needed knowledge, goods or services.

  • cultural fit

    Cultural fit is the likelihood that a job candidate will be able to conform and adapt to the core values and collective behaviors that make up an organization.

  • cutting edge

    Cutting edge is an adjective used to describe the newest, most advanced version of a product or service. The phrase cutting edge has a positive connotation and can be contrasted with the phrase bleeding edge, which has a negative connotation. Bleeding edge implies that a product or service is so new that its adoption could be harmful. 

  • CVO (Chief Visionary Officer)

    The Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) is a newer title where the holder is expected to have a broad and comprehensive knowledge of all matters related to the business of the organization, as well as the vision required to steer its course into the future.

  • D

    data collection

    Data collection is the systematic approach to gathering and measuring information from a variety of sources to get a complete and accurate picture of an area of interest.

  • data latency

    Data latency is the time it takes for data packets to be stored or retrieved

  • data monetization

    Data monetization is the act of creating currency from corporate data.

  • data privacy (information privacy)

    Data privacy, also called information privacy, is the aspect of information technology (IT) that deals with the ability an organization or individual has to determine what data in a computer system can be shared with third parties.

  • data products

    A data product is digital information that can be purchased. 

  • data storytelling

    Data storytelling is the process of translating complex data analyses into layman's terms in order to influence a decision or action.

  • decision support system (DSS)

    A decision support system (DSS) is a computer program application used to improve a company's decision-making capabilities.

  • demand shaping

    Demand shaping is a supply chain management strategy where a company uses tactics such as price incentives to influence the number of customer requests for a certain product in order to match its planned supply.

  • deputy CIO (deputy chief information officer)

    Deputy CIO is a role within some organizations that generally has responsibility for overseeing day-to-day IT operations. The role is more prevalent in the public sector than in the private sector and often can lead to a CIO position.

  • device ID (device identification)

    A device ID (device identification) is a distinctive number associated with a smartphone or similar handheld device.

  • digital disruption

    Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.

  • digital economy

    The digital economy is the worldwide network of economic activities, commercial transactions and professional interactions that are enabled by information and communications technologies.

  • digital ecosystem

    A digital ecosystem is a group of interconnected information technology resources that can function as a unit. In order for an ecosystem to operate efficiently, all components must be compatible.

  • digital enterprise

    Digital enterprise is an organization that leverages digital technology as a competitive advantage in its internal and external operations.

  • digital labor

    Digital labor is work performed by robotic automation technology.

  • digital leadership

    Digital leaders work in much the same way as a chief financial officer (CFO), a director of human resources or a chief operations officer (COO) works; they need to assure interested parties that the assets for which they are responsible maintain maximum value.

  • digital process automation

    Digital process automation (DPA) uses low-code development tools to automate processes that can span multiple applications.

  • digital strategy (digital media strategy)

    A digital strategy is a blueprint for managing customer-facing information technology (IT) initiatives. It requires marketing and IT to work together closely.

  • digital transformation

    Digital transformation is the incorporation of computer-based technologies into an organization's products, processes and strategies.

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