Chief Information Officer (CIO) – Definition

Cite this article as:"Chief Information Officer (CIO) – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated September 10, 2019, last accessed October 20, 2020,


Chief Information Officer (CIO) Definition

A chief information officer is the topmost executive job title assigned to a person in charge of information technology in an organization. The CIO works specifically with the department of information technology (IT) to lead the organization’s objectives and goals.

In other words, the CIO supports the mission and goals of the organization by using the computer system and technology. However, the CIO also requires that he or she has good knowledge and skills in business.

A Little More on What is a CIO

It is the CIO’s duty to formulate strategies in the IT department. The strategies will help bring efficiency in the overall business operations. The CIOs also takes charge of the resources in the IT department and develop technology-related plans.

It is important for CIOs to be aware of the technology trends and how they are advancing. This is because most businesses are operating in industries where technology keeps on changing. So,  the organization needs to match the changes so that it can remain competitive in the market.

Those CIOs who work for big organizations, usually focus on specific areas such as information system or electronic data processing. However, when it comes to smaller organizations, the CIO’s roles change. Here, he or she is directly involved in overseeing the IT department, as well as handling its everyday activities.

 Chief Information Officer Roles and Responsibilities

There are various roles and responsibilities that are associated with being a chief information officer. However, it is important to note that there are no specific responsibilities as far are this position is concerned.

This is because roles and responsibilities for this position differ from one organization to the other. The size of the organization is also a factor used to define the responsibilities of this position.

The following are typical responsibilities attached to the CIO job title:

To build and maintain a team which is motivated and efficient in what they do.

To lead the information security information’s personnel and ensure that they are trained, and have acquired appropriate and competent skills.

To address all applicable requirements by developing and maintaining security policies, procedures as well as control techniques.

The CIO together with risk executive officer and chief security information officer should work to ensure that:

  • There is effective security implementation, to enhance security in all of the company’s information systems and the systems’ operation environment.
  • There is an integration of security information into all aspects of the business operations. Security information can be integrated into planning, budgeting, programming, system development life cycle, and acquisition.
  • There is coverage of the information system approved by the security plans and its operation is permitted.
  • The required activities related to security in the organization are effectively accomplished in time, and that the activities cost-effective.

 Qualification of the Chief Information Officer

Most organizations lookout for a CIO with computer-related bachelor’s degree such as computer science, IT management, computer information systems or database administration. However, a master’s degree in business administration plus a degree related to the computer is also important. Having this equips the CIO with the right knowledge to handle the development, hiring, budgeting, and business strategies.

 Key Competencies Required for CIO

For the CIOs do well in their job, they need to apply both hard and soft skills. Some of these skills include the following:

  • The CIO needs to understand the requirements of the broader business. This enables them to prioritize the use of technology. This is because part of their duty is to ensure that the company is ahead of its rivals as far as new business trends are concerned.
  • Also, it is important for the CIO builds go relationship with the respective managerial departments including colleagues. This will ensure that there is effective coordination of activities related to information system within an organization.
  • In addition, he or she needs to know how each and every department operates. This will enable the CIO to easily determine each of their technical needs. The ability to communicate well and to easily translate technical terms better than how none-IT personnel is paramount.

Reference for “Chief Information Officer (CIO)” › Investing › Financial Analysis › Career Paths › Technology Careers › Career Types

Was this article helpful?