What does a Chief Information Officer do?

It’s easy to see how many people mistakenly believe that the title of chief information officer (CIO) means “chief computer guy” in a company. In reality, a chief information officer’s job entails a lot more. CIOs typically act as a link between various departments within an organization, transferring technology-related information and knowledge. This key position is usually in place to assist in the resolution of problems within a company or organization.

Because many chief information officers have backgrounds in information technology (IT), the CIO may appear to be nothing more than the head of the IT department. In most organizations, the IT department is divided into several divisions, each with its own set of responsibilities for supporting employees’ technical needs, implementing new technologies, and developing new technology applications. Larger organizations usually have a number of managers, each of whom is in charge of a specific area. The chief information officer usually collaborates with all IT managers to ensure that various IT departments work together to solve problems efficiently.

A chief information officer must be able to see the big picture. As a senior officer, the CIO is usually able to observe activities across all departments and organizational layers. In most cases, the CIO can use data from various departments to forecast future problems and needs. She usually develops and implements problem-solving strategies and identifies areas where the company can use technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs. To achieve these objectives, the CIO usually enlists the help of a group of people from across the company.

Human resources (HR), finance, legal, and other departments within an organization are typically focused on their own areas of responsibility. Because each department’s leaders are focused on their own group’s day-to-day operations, the CIO can help each department see how they can collaborate to streamline processes and share information. The CIO can also assist department heads in determining which areas require improvement and in identifying and implementing solutions.

In general, chief information officers are less concerned with day-to-day operations and are more focused on corporate functions such as business strategy, revenue, and process management. The CIO is usually involved in online strategy, which can have an impact on an organization’s revenue generation and customer relations. As organizations in both the public and private sectors become more reliant on technology, the need for effective information management should continue to grow, making the role of the CIO even more important to the organization’s success.