Chief information officer

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Chief information officer (CIO) is a job title commonly given to the person in an organization with the overall responsibility for the information technology and computer systems that support the enterprise’s goals.

In the past, this person most likely had a degree in computer science, software engineering, or information systems, but this is by no means universal. No specific qualification is typical of CIOs in general. Many were technical staff.

More recently, the CIO’s 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. Now that information technology and systems have become more important, the CIO is today often viewed as a contributor in formulating strategic goals.

In many companies, the CIO reports directly to the chief executive officer (CEO). In some companies, the CIO may even sit on the executive board.

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 have led a business’s efforts to integrate the Internet and the World Wide Web into both its long-term strategy and its immediate business plans.