A Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for providing strategic IT leadership relative to achieving the company’s business objectives, while managing all aspects of the company’s IT infrastructure and staff. While a CIO is the senior leader of an IT department, not all senior leaders of IT departments are CIOs. What sets a CIO apart is their strong business acumen and in-depth understanding of the company’s key performance metrics, strategies, and goals. This knowledge enables them to:
- Develop an IT strategy that aligns with achieving the company’s business goals, complete with project prioritization, time frames, budgets, and risk mitigation plan.
- Proactively work with the business (operations, sales, marketing, etc.) to identify opportunities to create a competitive advantage by optimizing existing and developing new software.
- Implement a project governance process for evaluating the value of project requests against the company’s business goals and gaining consensus as to the prioritization of key initiatives.
- Ensure that IT is run cost-effectively and that the company has a validated disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place.
CIOs are proactive problem solvers that base their decisions on a long-term view of what’s best for the company relative to its key performance metrics, not just the current technical issues at hand. Because of this, they play an essential role in mitigating company-wide risks while maximizing the company’s overall competitiveness.