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A Call for Common Practices and Standards for the CIO Role

Since the emergence of information technology, CIOs have struggled to define what their job titles should encompass. In an article for the Enterprisers Project, Bob Fecteau calls for the standardization of CIO standards and principles.

What “CIO” Should Mean

CIOs have made great contributions towards technology innovations throughout the years, but their management skills tend not to stand eye-to-eye with that of other sections of the business. This is in part because IT support was originally run by engineers and computer scientists. However, it is also in part because CIOs are not properly trained to do so.

In order to run IT like a business, the leader needs to have leadership skills that are managed in a precise, cohesive manner. The IT discipline unfortunately lacks this standardization in training CIOs. Most operational functions within a business are managed by standardized practices, so if CIOs want to fulfill their job roles best, they need more established consistent practices.

CIOs’ main objective is to understand what it costs to support the company with relevant technology, as well as using that technology to help form and rationalize the IT portfolio. All of this helps to maximize IT’s effectiveness. Making this role standard from company to company will create consistency for CIOs to follow. Yes, every CIO operates a little differently and each organization calls for something slightly different, but more uniformity can help to better advance the CIO position.

Another problem facing CIOs is the continued addition of new roles that step on the toes of the current CIO. People who hold positions such as Chief Digital Officer or Chief Knowledge Officer are fulfilling duties that are truly the CIO’s, or worse, being established because the CIO is not fully trusted and needs someone to watch what they are doing. Two people do not need to do the same job, so allow the CIO to do theirs.

You can read the original article here: https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2015/12/cio-role-defining-future

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