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  • Cited by 4
  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: August 2009

11 - The Chief Information Officer – Achieving credibility, relevance and business impact

Summary

Information can be described as data endowed with relevance and purpose. It is through information about customers, competitors, operations and products that business value is created and performance improved. Effective usage of information is essential for executives to manage their companies and for businesses to create value.

In this chapter, the author explains that the CIO's role and significance are growing and evolving quickly. The challenges facing Chief Information Officers are explored in detail: developing the credibility of the IT organization, reorganizing IT to meet business priorities, and finding new ways for information to add value.

The role of the chief information officer

I feel my biggest challenge is to establish the credibility of the IT organization and function among the business unit managers of our group. Job one is to manage the IT investments and resources of the group in a cost-efficient and effective way, to deliver on our promises and commitments, and to move beyond being IT ‘mechanics’ to enablers of process and business change.

(Newly appointed CIO of a global industrial products group)

What is unique about the CIO role? What business contributions could CIOs make to their company's success? Should the CIO be accepted as having a strategic leadership role or is it purely operational? The answers to these questions have become much clearer as organizations recognize the potential impact, significance and cost of information.

In the past, it has often been unclear whether the CIO role was simply another label for the head of information technology.

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Notes
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Marchand, D. A., Kettinger, W. J. and Rollins, J. D., Making the Invisible Visible: How Companies Win with the Right Information, People and IT (Chichester, John Wiley and Sons, 2001).
Marchand, D. A., ‘Extracting the business value of IT: It is usage, not just deployment that counts!’, Capco Institute Journal of Financial Transformation, 11 (August 2004), p. 127.
Earl, M. J. and Feeny, D. F., ‘Is Your CIO Adding Value?’, Sloan Management Review, Spring (1994), pp. 11–20.
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Earl, M. and Feeny, D., ‘How to be a CEO in the Information Age’, Sloan Management Review, Winter (2000), pp. 11–23.