A chief information officer (CIO) is a term usually given to a senior executive in a company in charge of the development of information technology and computer systems. Chief information officers are sometimes referred to as information technology directors and normally report to a chief operations officer (COO). CIOs are sometimes employed by government departments to initiate more efficient IT processes or rework older processes so they work more effectively.
A chief information officer is responsible for investigating and remolding existing working processes and identifying areas where new IT tools can be successfully introduced. He must examine a company's objectives and identify the information technology needed to achieve them within set budgetary parameters. He should promote a wide technology agenda to keep software systems at the cutting edge of development.
The CIO is also responsible for reviewing all computer and manual systems and any software that deals with acquisition, storage and retrieval of information. He often has to redesign the physical infrastructure of computer systems and reshape network access to improve efficiency. CIOs often deal with integrating the Internet into the long-term business processes of a given company. A CIO can assess any existing web-based technologies utilized by the company and identify areas for improvement.
A chief information officer manages all IT communication activities and provides guidance to a company as it grows through internal improvements and external acquisitions, as detailed on eJobDescription.com. A CIO should have excellent leadership and communication skills. He is usually responsible for managing a team of technicians and programmers, prioritizes goals and delegate tasks, as stated on the Computer Weekly website. He should also be able to provide guidance on electronic security threats and identify efficient risk-management strategies.
The CIO sometimes works in conjunction with a chief technology officer. In this scenario, the CIO is responsible for the IT processes that yield efficient information transmission, whereas the chief technical officer will handle matters relating to technology infrastructure. The CIO may also be a member of an executive board and is often tasked with delivering value for major shareholders.
A CIO should be familiar with various Internet protocols and database management systems. He is usually responsible for compliance with industry standards and should have a good understanding of budgeting and general business processes. A CIO is usually tasked with approving major contracts for outsourced IT services or products, as observed on the HR Village website
The CIO plays a key role in data integrity and must ensure electronic data is stored safely and efficiently. He should be skilled in prioritizing tasks and know how to initiate development without significantly disrupting normal working practices. A key responsibility of the chief information officer is to continually monitor business value in terms of information technology assets and processes.
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