Georgina Swan, former Editor of CIO.
You would be surprised to know how many conversations I have about the CIO role where it only becomes apparent that we’re talking about different acronyms midway through the discussion. A typical example:
“CIOs must encompass all levels of the business, looking at everything from infrastructure and portfolio management to due diligence and risk.”
Nothing new there, right? Except the comment was aimed at the CIO as the chief investment officer, not chief information officer.
Now, from my perspective, chief information officers have the monopoly on the acronym.
Apart from my obvious bias, I would argue that the role of a CIO encompasses many of the aspects of these other roles in any case. Take a chief intelligence officer, for example — how many of you are sponsoring business intelligence projects right now? Tick. Chief investigation officer? E-discovery anybody?
The only CIO role which may be somewhat out of scope is that of the chief immigration officer, but even it is up for debate. In today’s world of globalisation and, with the ever-looming presence of the IT skills shortage, CIOs are increasingly looking to other countries to help boost their technology teams. IT workers are perhaps some of the most culturally diverse groups in Australia, so while the immigration officer role isn’t directly applicable, the analogy is nonetheless appropriate.
As for chief innovation officer, I think that one’s a given. CIOs must be innovative in order to succeed. After all, you work in a field where innovation is par of the course. You are expected to lead innovation strategy, to enable new business models and guide the business through the use of an increasing number of smart products.
I have no doubt missed a few of the CIO permutations here, so feel free to add your own below.