The role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in a changing global business environment

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Southern New Hampshire University
As described in this research abstract, "The role and responsibilities of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) have changed substantially over time. As business becomes more global in nature and more companies move their operations to economic centers in Asia, technology becomes a key integrating factor in cost considerations and collaboration across cultures. The knowledge necessary to manage information, systems, and people globally has become more complex as business has become more international in focus. A changing role requires new skills and knowledge. The shift to globally integrated companies requires a new mindset in supporting business strategy. Technology components must be developed that support corresponding business components in order to provide the flexibility and adaptability necessary to remain competitive. (Sanford and Taylor, 2005). It is more essential than ever that CIOs have international business knowledge to provide insights and vision that meet the demands of a senior level position and support the company’s global strategy. Many of today’s CIOs acquired their formal education at a time when technical competence was a primary focus or business knowledge was more general in nature. Although many CIOs in larger companies have gained international business expertise through their own experiences, most have not received formal knowledge in the international business realm specifically. Today’s CIO needs industry specific knowledge and overall business competence. Return on Investment (ROI) has become a significant part of the equation. During earlier phases of technology development, especially the internet revolution, companies poured money into technology without paying much attention to ROI. Today, that has changed as more companies are more carefully examining their IT investments. CEOs today must understand the role of technology in their overall strategy and supporting operations. The CIO plays an important role in educating the CEO and playing a partnership role in leading the organization. These roles require not only competence in management and technology but also specifically in international business. There is a need today for more formalized knowledge that addresses the unique issues associated with doing business internationally. This knowledge will be required of future CIOs and those aspiring CIOs who are in business management programs today." (Library-derived description)
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