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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  • C

    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)

    Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) is a new title being used in corporations to differentiate the holder from other corporate executives including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Chief Information Officer (CIO), and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

  • D

    dashboard

    In information technology, a dashboard is a user interface that, somewhat resembling an automobile's dashboard, organizes and presents information in a way that is easy to read.

  • data collection

    Data collection is a process for gathering information from different sources. In business, data collection helps organizations answer relevant questions and evaluate possible business outcomes.

  • 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 that analyzes business data and presents it so that users can make business decisions more easily.

  • 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) is a method of automation that uses software to perform processes and automate tasks with the goal of completing and optimizing a workflow.

  • digital rights management (DRM)

    Digital rights management (DRM) is a systematic approach to copyright protection for digital media. (Continued)

  • 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 (DX) is the adoption of new technologies to improve an organization's processes, products and services. According to a recent survey, digital transformation and the ability to compete against born-digital organizations is the No. 1 concern of C-suite leaders.

  • disruptive innovation

    Disruptive innovation is the introduction of a product or service into an established industry that performs better and, generally, at a lower cost than existing offerings, thereby displacing the market leaders in that particular market space and transforming the industry.

  • distributed ledger technology (DLT)

    Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a digital system for recording the transaction of assets in which the transactions and their details are recorded in multiple places at the same time.

  • dot-com bubble

    The dot-com bubble, also referred to as the Internet bubble, refers to the period between 1995 and 2000 when investors pumped money into Internet-based startups in the hopes that these fledgling companies would soon turn a profit.

  • E

    e-brokerage

    An e-brokerage is a brokerage house that allows you to buy and sell stocks and obtain investment information from its Web site.

  • e-business (electronic business)

    E-business (electronic business) is the conduct of business processes on the internet.

  • e-commerce (electronic commerce)

    E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet.

  • e-form (electronic form)

    An e-form (electronic form) is a computer program version of a paper form.

  • e-procurement (supplier exchange)

    E-procurement is the business-to-business purchase and sale of supplies and services over the Internet.

  • e-services (electronic services)

    E-services, a business concept developed by Hewlett Packard (HP), is the idea that the World Wide Web is moving beyond e-business and e-commerce (that is, completing sales on the Web) into a new phase where many business services can be provided for a business or consumer using the Web.

  • e-speak

    E-speak is an open software platform designed by HP to facilitate the delivery of e-services (electronic services) over the Internet.

  • e-tailing (electronic retailing)

    E-tailing (less frequently: etailing) is the selling of retail goods on the Internet.

  • E2E (exchange-to-exchange)

    On the Internet, E2E has been used to mean exchange-to-exchange - that is, the exchange of information or transactions between Web sites that themselves serve as exchanges or brokers for goods and services between businesses.

  • EBITDA ( earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization)

    EBITDA stands for 'earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.'

  • EBPP (electronic bill presentment and payment)

    On the Internet, electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) is a process that enables bills to be created, delivered, and paid over the Internet.

  • ebXML (electronic business xml)

    ebXML (Electronic Business XML) is a project to use the Extensible Markup Language (XML) to standardize the secure exchange of business data.

  • EISA (Extended Industry Standard Architecture)

    EISA is a standard bus (computer interconnection) architecture that extends the ISA standard to a 32-bit interface.

  • embedded analytics

    Embedded analytics is the integration of business intelligence (BI) tools and capabilities into business software, including customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), marketing automation and financial systems.

  • embedded IT

    Embedded IT is the process of inserting information technology staff and expertise into other business units in order to quickly and more effectively identify and pursue new business opportunities and increase the likelihood that IT projects are deployed successfully.

  • emotional intelligence (EI)

    Emotional intelligence (EI) is the area of cognitive ability that facilitates interpersonal behavior. The term was popularized in 1995 by psychologist and behavioral scientist Dr. Daniel Goleman. According to Goleman, emotional intelligence is the largest single predictor of success in the workplace.

  • employee assistance program (EAP)

    An employee assistance program (EAP) is an arrangement between a corporation, academic institution or government agency and its employees that provides a variety of support programs for the employees... (Continued)

  • End User License Agreement (EULA)

    An End User License Agreement (EULA) is a legal contract between a software application author or publisher and the user of that application.

  • enterprise architecture (EA)

    An enterprise architecture (EA) is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization.

  • enterprise data hub

    An enterprise data hub, also referred to as a data lake, is a new big data management model for big data that utilizes Hadoop as the central data repository.

  • enterprise IT (enterprise-class IT)

    Enterprise IT, also known as enterprise-class IT, is hardware and software designed to meet the demands of a large organization. In comparison to consumers and small companies, an enterprise has greater requirements for availability, reliability, scalability, performance and security, among other things.

  • enterprise relationship management (ERM)

    Enterprise relationship management (ERM) is software that analyzes data it has about its customers to develop a better understanding of the customer and how the customer is using its products and services.

  • enterprise risk management (ERM)

    Enterprise risk management (ERM) is the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the activities of an organization in order to minimize the effects of risk on an organization's capital and earnings.

  • enterprise social media

    Enterprise social media is a category of online communications channels dedicated to corporated-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.

  • enterprise social networking

    Enterprise social networking is an organization's use of social media, internally and externally, to connect individuals who share similar business interests or activities.

  • enterprise social software

    Enterprise social software is a general term that describes social networking and collaboration tools used in large organizations.

  • entrepreneur (entrepreneurship)

    An entrepreneur is an individual who identifies a need in the marketplace and works to fulfill it.

  • ephemeral messaging

    Ephemeral messaging is the mobile-to-mobile transmission of multimedia messages that automatically disappear from the recipient's screen after the message has been viewed.

  • executive dashboard

    An executive dashboard is a computer interface that displays the key performance indicators (KPIs) that corporate officers need to effectively run an enterprise.

  • executive leadership

    Executive leadership is the ability of an organization's management to guide and motivate employees while meeting organizational goals.

  • extended enterprise

    Extended enterprise is the concept that a company does not operate in isolation because its success is dependent upon a network of partner relationships.

  • F

    feature creep

    Feature creep (sometimes known as requirements creep or scope creep) is a tendency for product or project requirements to increase during development beyond those originally foreseen, leading to features that weren't originally planned and resulting risk to product quality or schedule.

  • field-level encryption

    Field-level encryption is the ability to encrypt data based on entire fields.

  • first mover

    In the business world, a first mover is a company that aims to gain an advantageous and perhaps insurmountable market position by being the first to establish itself in a given market.

  • FMEA (failure mode and effective analysis)

    FMEA (failure mode and effective analysis) is a step-by-step approach for collecting knowledge about possible points of failure in a design, manufacturing process, product or service.

  • Fortune 500

    The Fortune 500 is Fortune Magazine's annual ranking of the United States' 500 largest corporations. The list is important because it provides the general public with a sense for which companies have the ability to influence the economy in the United States and whether or not those companies are healthy.  

  • FQA (frequently questioned answers)

    FQA (frequently questioned answers) are conventions or mandates scrutinized by individuals or groups who doubt their validity.

  • fractional CIO

    A fractional CIO is a high-level consultant who specializes in aligning information technology (IT) with business goals. Quite simply, a fractional CIO works for a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire a full-time executive to fill the post.

  • G

    gap analysis

    A gap analysis assesses the differences between the current and desired performance levels of a company's systems or applications.

  • Generation Facebook (Generation F)

    Generation Facebook (Generation F) is a term used to define millennials who have grown up using social media as their primary networking tool.

  • global information infrastructure (GII)

    The global information infrastructure (GII) is the developing communications framework intended to eventually connect all telecommunications and computer networks world-wide.

  • globalization

    Globalization is the process by which ideas, goods and services spread throughout the world.

  • glocalization

    Glocalization is the concept that in a global market, a product or service is more likely to succeed when it is customized for the locality or culture in which it is sold. For example, the international fast food chain McDonalds illustrates the concept of glocalization by changing their menus to appeal to local palates and customs.

  • Google (the company)

    Google is a multinational, publicly-traded organization built around the company's hugely popular search engine. Google's other enterprises include Internet analytics, cloud computing, advertising technologies, and Web app, browser and operating system development.

  • Google Wallet

    Google Wallet is a mobile payment system developed by Google that allows smartphone users to store debit and credit card information for online and in-store purchases.

  • Government Information Awareness (GIA)

    Government Information Awareness (GIA) is a Web site dedicated to making it easy for U.S. citizens to know more about their government and is somewhat the reverse of the government's Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) program, which aims at knowing more about its citizens.

  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act or GLBA), also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, is a federal law enacted in the United States to control the ways that financial institutions deal with the private information of individuals.

  • GRC (governance, risk management and compliance) software

    GRC (governance, risk management and compliance) software allows publicly-held companies to integrate and manage IT operations that are subject to regulation. (Continued...)

  • great recession (Great Recession)

    Great recession is a label used by journalists and  economists to describe a severe, prolonged economic downturn.

  • green IT (green information technology)

    Green IT (green information technology) is the practice of environmentally sustainable computing.

  • group think

    Group think (also spelled groupthink) is a phenomenon that occurs when group's need for consensus supersedes the judgment of individual group members.

  • growth potential

    Growth potential is an organization's future ability to generate larger profits, expand its workforce and ramp up its production.

  • H

    H-1B

    H-1B is a United States Immigration Service visa classification that permits employers to hire highly skilled foreign workers who possess theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge.

  • hackathon

    A hackathon, also known as a codefest, is a social coding event that brings computer programmers and other interested people together to improve upon or build a new software program.

  • hard skills

    Hard skills are specific abilities, or capabilities, that an individual can possess and demonstrate in a measured way.

  • holistic (holistic technology)

    Holistic (holistic technology) is a concept concerned with treatment of entire systems, rather than the analysis, treatment or segmentation of parts of those systems.

  • homologation

    Homologation is the certification of a product to indicate that it meets regulatory standards.

  • Honey Encryption

    Honey Encryption is a security tool that makes it difficult for an attacker who is carrying out a brute force attack to know if he has correctly guessed a password or encryption key.

  • horizontal scalability (scaling out)

    Horizontal scalability is the ability to connect multiple hardware or software entities so that they work as a single logical unit. When servers are clustered, the original server is being scaled out horizontally.

  • hot site and cold site

    A hot site is a commercial disaster recovery service that allows a business to continue computer and network operations in the event of a computer or equipment disaster.

  • hoteling

    Hoteling (also called office hoteling) is the practice of providing office space to employees on an as-needed rather than on the traditional, constantly reserved basis. This reduces the amount of physical space that an enterprise needs, lowering overhead cost while (ideally) ensuring that every worker can access office resources when necessary. (Continued...)

  • human-centric BPM

    Human-centric business process management is an approach to BPM  that considers human skills and activities first and uses automated functions to support them. Most BPM suites include human-centric BPM features.

  • hurdle rate

    A hurdle rate is the required rate of return above which an investment makes sense and below which it does not.

  • hyperautomation

    Hyperautomation is a concept involving the use of an ecosystem of advanced automation technologies to augment enterprises' use of human intelligence.

  • I

    ICT (information and communications technology, or technologies)

    ICT, or information and communications technology (or technologies), is the infrastructure and components that enable modern computing.

  • ideation management

    Ideation management refers to creating, gathering, analyzing, disseminating and executing on idea generation within the enterprise.

  • incremental innovation

    Incremental innovation is the introduction of small improvements or upgrades to already existing products, services, processes or methods.

  • incubator

    In the business world, an incubator is an enterprise that is set up to provide office space, equipment, and sometimes mentoring assistance and capital to new businesses that are just getting started.

  • infonomics

    Infonomics is a social science that involves studying the production and consumption of information and the transfer of money to produce, sell or obtain it. Simply put, infonomics is the economics of information.

  • Information Age

    The Information Age refers to the idea that access to and the control of information is the defining characteristic of this current era in human civilization.

  • Information and Content Exchange (ICE)

    Information and Content Exchange (ICE) is an XML-based standard protocol for electronic business-to-business (B2B) asset management.

  • information superhighway (infobahn)

    Information superhighway is a term that was used mainly in the 1990s to describe a national communications network that would span the United States and allow Americans to quickly access and exchange information via voice, data, video and other services.

  • infrastructure management (IM)

    For an organization's information technology, infrastructure management (IM) is the management of essential operation components, such as policies, processes, equipment, data, human resources, and external contacts, for overall effectiveness.

  • innovation culture

    Innovation culture is an environment that organizations cultivate in order to nurture new, creative thinking and its application.

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