CIO: I stands for….


CIO: what I stands for? CIO as Chief Information Officer stands for the IT manager, and usually IT manager means “whom takes care of infrastructure, comunication and information to provide services & applications to allow the company to invoice”. 

However IT manager sounds more like this, CIO sounds more like an “upgrade” to the position and understanding that the IT manager (and the IT department) is part of the strategic resources of the company.

That’s all?

IT manager vs. CIO: an old discussion, that still exist in several companies.

Someone said that running IT as a business means more than providing value to business units. It means aligning IT with corporate objectives. Such an alignment raises the stakes for the CIO, creating a new opportunity to become a key player in business planning and strategy.

So, discussion is around “I means IMPACT”, and CIO stands for CHIEF IMPACT OFFICER. I’m focusing on IT business or competences, and not trying to raise a new discussion around if in CLO the L stands for logical or practical, or what’s the meaning of CEO… my God!

“Globalization and the need to capitalize on technology for competitive advantage has led IT organizations to focus on improving underlying processes and overall responsiveness to business change. This has made IT management software a priority for IT organizations, with the increased demand meaning significant change to the [IT Management] market over the next five years,” says Dennis Gaughan in the AMR Research report “IT Management: State of the Market,” published in January 2008.

There’s a fact: within top leading companies IT is an strategic function, and CIO are part of the Executive Comittee.  These companies understands IT as key part of doing business, because:

  • IT ensures operational and execution support to the company: for the company brands and diversification need, for all customers interaction, for all employees sharing and using information, and for all partners. Whatever they are, their language, their currency… At this globalized world we are, the level of complexity could be only managed with IT resources
  • IT provides productivity: or at least, could! Working better: IT holds and keeps data but should deliver information; IT provides tools to do fast and with efficiency
  • IT allows the company to adapt quickly: we don’t know now 8 of each 10 things that we’ll use in the next 10 years. And most of them are tech based. So, IT is fast adaptative, and allow us to absorve and integrate these new technologies and products, at least which could provide competitive advantage to our companies.
  • IT as company’s growing tool: yes, because new acquisitions, preparing the IT infrastructure and middleware to “absorv” this complexity and new business a.s.a.p. But also providing engines, tools, information, resources and answers allowing the company to grow, because today’s pressure to be faster and bigger than our competition.

Going ahead, take Wal-Mart, only as one example: out of the last 5 CEOs at least 3 of them were CIO before getting to the CEO position. I what to challenge you disussing around these points:

  1. Do you know any other case?
  2. Why do you think CIOs are becoming CEOs?

Thanks in advance for your contributions.

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