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Chief information officer

Chief information officer

The chief information officer (CIO) is a job title for the board level head of information technology within an organization. The CIO typically reports to the chief financial officer and in IT-centered organizations to the chief executive officer. In military organizations, they report to the commanding officer or commanding general of the organization. While the military CIO is the steward for IT issues, the Geospatial Information Officer is the head of geospatial information technology within an organization.

The Geospatial Information Officer is the central manager responsible for coordination, assessment, and synchronization of all organization policies and standardization requirements for the geospatial information enterprise, which will help enable interoperability across multiple and often disparate domains, bringing enterprise user closer to the realization of a unified common operational picture (COP).

The prominence of the CIO position has risen greatly as information technology has become a more important part of business. The CIO may be a member of the executive board of the organization, but this is dependent on the type of organization. CIO as a job title originated in the US, but is slowly replacing IT Director as the de facto title in Europe and Asia.

No specific qualification is typical of CIOs in general; every CIO position has its own specific job description. In the past, many have degrees in computer science, software engineering, or information systems, but this is not universal. Increasingly CIOs, especially those from a technical background, are gaining an MBA to strengthen their management skills . More recently CIOs' leadership capabilities, business acumen and strategic perspectives have taken precedence over technical skills. It is now quite common for CIOs to be appointed from the business side of the organization, especially if they have project management skills.

In recent years governments and government departments have employed CIOs and recruited them from the private sector. The main reason for this is that as government departments have modernized their processes they have made costly IT mistakes and now require highly experienced IT executives to cut the best deals for their organizations. One of the most famous examples of this was Richard Granger, who joined the UK's National Health Service (NHS) to head up the National Programme for IT; he shook up IT procurement and upset some vendors.

The CIO role is also sometimes used interchangeably with the chief technology officer role, although they may be slightly different. When both positions are present in an organization, the CIO is generally responsible for processes and practices supporting the flow of information, whereas the CTO is generally responsible for technology infrastructure.

In 2007 a survey amongst CIOs by CIO magazine in the UK discovered that their top 10 concerns were: people leadership, managing budgets, business alignment, infrastructure refresh, security, compliance, resource management, managing customers, managing change and board politics.

Chief Information Officer (CIO) is a job title commonly given to the person in an enterprise responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals. As information technology and systems have become more important, the CIO has come to be viewed in many organizations as a key contributor in formulating strategic goals. Typically, the CIO in a large enterprise delegates technical decisions to employees more familiar with details. Usually, a CIO proposes the information technology an enterprise will need to achieve its goals and then works within a budget to implement the plan. Typically, a CIO is involved with analyzing and reworking existing business processes, with identifying and developing the capability to use new tools, with reshaping the enterprise's physical infrastructure and network access, and with identifying and exploiting the enterprise's knowledge resources. Many CIOs head the enterprise's efforts to integrate the Internet and the World Wide Web into both its long-term strategy and its immediate business plans.

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