Because technology never sleeps, IT strategies also have to evolve, which means the job description of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) is also changing. These days, businesses are looking for individuals with skills and knowledge that go beyond old school technology management. This is especially true in relation to IT consumerization, green technology solutions, consumer experience and other areas that a CIO could have a connection with.
In the past, a CIO is only responsible for overseeing a company’s technological resources, which is not exactly a piece of cake since it covers a wide range of tasks. Technology, after all, is a vital part in almost all business processes, whether it is old or modern enterprise. His work can be as simple as managing communication systems to something as complex as making IT decisions, in a bid to steer an organization to a better direction IT-wise. Think this is already hard? Well, the changing digital world is also revolutionizing how CIOs do their job or what is included in their job descriptions. What used to be a simple task of providing technological guidance that an organization can use may now involve compliance with the law. Overseeing computer and internet connections, will now include management of big data. Here is a look at some CIO job descriptions.
CIO with Expertise in IT Project Management
In order to meet business goals and objectives, an expert in IT project management must plan, organize and assign project responsibilities to the right people. If a CIO can demonstrate such skills, it will save an organization a lot of effort, time and investment. These responsibilities will then be integrated to the other roles of a CIO, such as executing and controlling plans for IT operations and processes. The good news is there are plenty of methodologies and tools on IT project management that CIOs can use or draw inspiration from. A CIO with expertise in IT project management will be able to detect snags in a project and provide appropriate solutions.
CIO with Data Management Skills
Some CIOs may have started as a Data Manager, which equipped them with the skills and knowledge required for this new job description. Data management skills in this context, however, require knowledge in big data and business intelligence. The amount of information that needs to be collected and analyzed for strategic purposes now comes in massive amounts, which makes the job a lot harder than it was supposed to be. Business intelligence alone involves tracking a number of customer contact points, such as transactional data and exchanges in social media, to collect insights that will help enhance operations, business process management, and budgeting. And because a CIO is on the top tier, his expertise and data management must be used for internal operations as well. This ensures timely access to information for both employees and clients. Since these massive chunks of data are stored on Cloud or other storage systems, a CIO must develop a strategy in storing and accessing information as quickly as possible.
CIO with Expertise in Security and Compliance
With the IT landscape constantly expanding, which now includes mobile devices and cloud computing, there is a need for a CIO to have a firm understanding on how to keep company information secure without violating any federal laws and regulations. In the current situation of some organizations, where security parameters of a digital workplace is fuzzy at best, a CIO’s security and compliance skills will prove very beneficial. It is one way to keep a company from falling victim of high-profile data breaches that can leave an organization permanently damaged, and its clients completely losing trust of a company’s ability to protect their information. While a company can choose to add C-level executives, which job is to focus on IT security and compliance, a CIO who can handle these things is still a better option.
CIO with Legal Expertise
In highly regulated industries, hiring lawyers for CIOs is fast becoming the norm. Knowledge and skills in technology are no longer enough, given that there are plenty of rules and regulations that affect different areas of IT operations. Rather than hire two different individuals with specific skills set, businesses are now looking to hire information managers that not only oversee technology, but also track the creation, storage and flow of all data assets. The job of a CIO now includes preparing IT compliance plans and ensuring secure and timely access to records and data in the event of a litigation or audit.
CIOs with Expertise in Corporate Finance
The new CIO role requires a firm understanding of how a company makes and allocates money, which involves the use of corporate financial skills. Although a CIO’s job has always tapped the finance side of things, the new role involves working with the entire organization. It has become vital that a CIO can fit technology into the overall corporate budget, especially with the emergence of new models in service delivery, and the ever-changing global IT industry trends. Part of the job description is to fit IT purchases into the category of traditional spending, and develop strategies to improve the financial outlook of an organization as a whole. Experts believe that a CIO with these skills, will help make it easier to make IT decisions.
CIO with Better Vendor or Partner Management Skills
Establishing good relationships with providers of IT hardware and services has always been a part of the role of a CIO, but the times demand for better partner or vendor management. This ensures less delays or downtime when investing and upgrading new hardware. A good relationship is also key to a seamless and cost-effective delivery. For this reason, the CIO job description now includes establishing and managing partner contracts, monitoring service level agreements, and evaluating vendor risk management. To handle such demands, some businesses even established a vendor management office, while others placed the legal department in charge. Whether or not to follow suit, depends on the CIO on board.
Similar to technology, the job description of a CIO is also changing. The changes may not happen as fast, but they do happen and CIOs must work to keep up.