CIO Responsibilities | The Role of the Chief Information Officer

Role of the CIO
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What are the CIO’s responsibilities for a company? Take a moment to imagine something: When you hear “Chief Information Officer,” what comes to mind? Like most people, you probably think of information technology (IT) and data. What might not immediately be clear are the tangential executive tasks that the CIO position oversees, such as supporting and executing enterprise goals, developing best practices, planning resources, managing budgets and training employees.

As the technology landscape continues to change, so too should the role of the CIO, and the CIO responsibilities for an organization. Here we’ll profile three areas that that CIO needs to grow into in order to keep up with the evolving landscape.

CIO Responsibilities: Chief Innovation Officer

The need to keep up with innovation is a common theme in today’s business landscape. The fast-paced nature of technology is forcing businesses to stay on their toes in order to keep up with the newest trends and advances to avoid falling behind the competition. “CIO” used to stand for “Chief Information Officer,” but the CIO of the future also needs to be known as the “Chief Innovation Officer.” CIO responsibilities include helping teams identify and propose new areas where technology, company structure and day-to-day practices can be integrated for better business value.

CIO Responsibilities: Chief Financial Officer

With IT budgets making up an average of 4.7 percent of an enterprise’s overall spending – and growing every year –the CIO has a significant influence on budgeting. As tech budgets increase, the CIO needs to be able to think like a CFO by keeping return on investment top of mind when identifying how and where to allocate IT spend. Showing that the technology – and innovations – they are implementing can deliver strong ROI is paramount to justifying rising IT costs.

CIO Responsibilities: Chief Security Officer

Nearly every week, the news is filled with reports of new data breaches. No longer just focused on large corporations, cybercriminals are targeting companies of all sizes in order to mine sensitive customer data. It only makes sense that the CIO’s responsibilities include protecting the IT assets they oversee, too. According to Forrester, cybersecurity is shifting from a focus on dealing with ongoing threats to preventing them. As this change comes to life, the CIO must become more proactively responsible for the security of an enterprise’s assets and information in both physical and digital form.

To see the full report on how the CIO’s responsibilities continue to evolve, read our Q1 2016 State of the Enterprise Report. To view our past reports, visit our page about IT Trends.