Demystifying the Chief Information Officer

Demystifying the Chief Information Officer


Governing information technology functions is a mandate of the chief Information Officer. The achievement of this is through successful navigation of two areas in the business. Organization of internal functions is the first crucial area since it will lead to the positive performance of the business if there is successful organization (Anderson, 2006).

Secondly, there is the involvement of the managerial staff under the chief information officer in matters regarding information technology. That is, investments, projects, and priorities in the department of information technology.

A chief information officer manages applications portfolio that support business processes. Firms need frequent changes of their applications. This is because the presentation of the applications is in different modes of software. Such changes may arise due to factors such as some software being outdated. In occurrence of such, new ones dominate to serve the same purpose.

Another factor may be due to innovation of developments in the software presently used. This would consequently lead to previous versions being unsuitable to operate due to increase in operational costs.The management and recruitment of people, expertise, and information technology skills fall as part of chief information officer duties. Human resource is a crucial factor for the success of any business.

A chief information officer specializes in information technology staff. This is necessary since with changing technologies or developments on the same, the needed skills will also change. New skills may also be required in case of methods to outsource or in-source specific processes and services change.

The crucial role of a chief information officer is the development and retaining information technology projects and ensures that they do not fail. They exceed those that push through by far much. The failed projects either, run over budget, this results into financial constraints for the completion of the project. They run over schedule leading to the interruption of normal operations of a firm and finally, delay of project delivery.

Management of suppliers of information technology is also under the docket of the chief information officers. That is, all suppliers of services related to information technology report to him/her (Heidrick and Struggles, 2002). As the IT industry soars, the influence of vendors continues to increase.

This has the meaning that chief information officer has the mandate of negotiating with suppliers of such services to a company. While proper management of vendors will have a positive effect on the career of the manager, lack of proper incentives will lead to the demise of their career.

It is also in the docket of the chief information officer to manage the operations of the important IT infrastructure and all services related to them. He or she decides the type of infrastructure that is much suitable to use (Anderson, 2006). The manager also decides who is to operate such. Availability of formidable networking infrastructure is essential for the performance of any organization (Heidrick and Struggles, 2002). Ensuring that networking facilities are in good condition is the responsibility of the chief information officer.

Investments made by the company in the IT department are essential. Towards this endeavor, there are important decisions that require the attention of the IT executive manager. That is, decisions such as having those services outsourced or in-housed is the mandate of the officer. Still on the issue of IT investments, the officer decides the relevant segments to channel such investments.