Chief in Information Officer (CIO) is the board level head of Information technology for an organization. Some generic traits of a CIO are leadership, confidence and strategic perspective. Actually the profession of a CIO is the most challenging one because a CIO has to take pronouncements about various sensitive strategic planning issues.
A CIO should have a comprehensive knowledge about business principles, data processing methods, business office methods, system design and development system, management and operation of managed IT system, business process, analysis and design etc.
What is becoming very clear is that today’s CIOs need both business and leadership skills as well as technological ability. It has been evident for some time that self-confidence, entrepreneurial drive, and the ability to inspire, nurture, and encourage talent are important in the CIO’s office in addition to at least as good a grasp of the organisation’s strategy and operation as other senior executives.
Today, the CIO manages IT change – but already, IT is increasingly involved in driving business changes which keep a company ahead of the competition. The CIO can identify what business changes are required to improve performance, and take on accountability for driving end-to-end business process transformation.
In the Arabian Business magazine, the following article was piblished:
CIOs “heading towards extinction”
By Daniel Shane Thursday, 23 February 2012 8:29 AM4
At a roundtable held jointly by Arabian Computer News and Network Middle East today, Arun Tewary, CIO and VP of information systems at Emirates Flight Catering, claimed that the CIO was the only function “where every morning when we get up, we have to define our role”.
“CIOs as a species have fallen into a category which is moving towards extinction, so we need to be protected, like wildlife,” he told delegates at ITP’s ‘Future of the CIO’ event, held over breakfast at Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
Tewary blamed part of this shift on trends such as the consumerisation of the IT department. “The whole industry is moving towards consumerisation, and the moment that picks up, we will not be required,” he lamented.
At one point, Tewary contrasted the responsibilities of the CIO – which attendees identified as a mix of process, management and technology – with those of other c-level executives in the enterprise. “The CFO does not need to keep justifying and defining his role every day – it’s very defined and there’s no argument and no dispute. CMO? The same, absolutely no problem,” observed Tewary.
Tewary also disputed the assertion that a CIO’s career objective should be to secure a seat on the board, arguing that even when they did, they may not necessarily have much of a say in the running the business. “There might be organisations where CIOs have got into the boardroom, but I would be interested to know what is the percentage of such organisations,” he continued. “They might have a physical chair [in the boardroom], but does the CIO have a voice in the boardroom? I’m not very sure.”
Other attendees at the round table included CIOs and IT directors from well-known regional organisations in sectors including finance, logistics, education and industry. Topics discussed included how the role of the CIO has changed in the wake of global recession and the impact of cloud computing.
Join the Discussion
Posted by: Dr. Husam Yaghi Friday, 24 February 2012 1:02 AM[UAE] – USA
I can’t believe those so called CIOs who had attended the referenced meeting had to justify or define their roles every so often. Obviously they do not fit the title, rather they are just traditional IT managers. CIOs drive the business with their useful automation tools, assess the relative impact of emerging technology to strategic business needs and interpret their meaning to the organization’s senior leadership team. CIOs are leaders not managers. They face reality and drive change. Hey, my role is well defined and my seat is well protected, so I don’t see why others can’t do the same! It’s obvious that those CIOs have to work on their skills before they may expect others to respect them and give them the desired attention.