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The New CIO: From Technician to Business Strategist and the Implications for E-Commerce

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1 Author(s)
Fortino, A. ; Polytech. Inst., New York Univ., New York, NY

The chief information officer (CIO) role has evolved from keeper of the infrastructure under the chief financial officer (CFO), to an executive managing the organizationpsilas information base with a seat at the executive table and more recently to becoming the key strategic agent for the organizational use of technology. In the most advanced firms the CIO is the best indicated executive to move to CEO, especially in technology intensive firms. He has become the key Schumpeterian actor in the creative-destructive process mediated by technology. Today technology is the single greatest factor in strategic change in a firm. The CIO is the executive best positioned to manage the creative-destructive power of technology as outlined by Schumpeter and effect firm sustainability in the face of massive changes in markets. Thus the CIO is the best positioned to craft corporate strategy. As such he is best positioned to take advantage. This paper outlines this new and evolving role as determined from interviews of industry, and public sector CIOs and chief technology officers (CTOs) and the study of CIO and CTO position advertisements. Nineteen CIOs and nine CTOs were interviewed for this research project. The emerging picture is that of a new dynamic role for the CIO with new competencies, roles and responsibilities, which vary by sector and organization type and size. This paper presents the new competencies, roles and responsibilities in light of the overwhelming importance of technology to firm sustainability. It also presents the implications for educators of CIOs as well as evolving succession strategies firms have developed to create new CIO talent successfully. Lastly the paper explores the resulting implications for e-commerce.

Published in:

e-Business Engineering, 2008. ICEBE '08. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-24 Oct. 2008