The role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) has dramatically changed within the past ten years. Several years ago CIO’s were choosing new computer systems, making sure everyone had an internet connection and troubleshooting technical computer problems. In today’s world, CIO’s are taking on much more responsibility, which can often hinder their overall job performance. I will go over some of the disadvantages to the CIO’s changing role in the office.
Today, Chief Information Officers are taking more of a leadership role and are taking on tasks such as managing and cutting costs and achieving more productive, efficient and valuable use of information. They even sometimes become key figures in purchasing decisions and marketing and sales. Of course, with added responsibilities come added problems. There are several disadvantages of giving the CIO such an expanded role (Bean).
The major disadvantage is that since they now have more responsibility in the corporation they most definitely need a staff of very dependable people to get the normal, every day issues taken care of. Because the CIO’s today are at the executive level, they need capable, dependable employees to take care of their smaller, but still important, tasks. A large amount of the CIO’s time is taken up by higher responsibilities so it is very critical that they have a highly trained, dependable staff to which they can delegate the smaller responsibilities. Their position is simply not manageable otherwise. Even though their role has expanded to the more strategic side of the corporation they still must ensure that the regular day-to-day mission is being met. For example, they have to continuously be working on the smaller tasks and keep the systems up and running in order for the corporation to run smoothly. Under a third of the CIO’s time is spent managing their staff so it is extremely crucial that they can depend on their staff to get things done on their own (What is a CIO?).
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Another disadvantage of the Chief Information Officer’s expanded role is that because they are dealing with more pressing responsibilities at the executive level, they may not have the extra time they need to train their staff. This adding more costs for the corporation because they have to pay someone else to come in and train their employees when the newly developed technology comes out. Any job dealing with technology is one that always needs continuous training because of the way technology is constantly changing and improving every day (Ware).
A good example of these disadvantages is right here in my own job. We have a position that we call IMO (Information Management Office).
We have one person that fills this position. Normally, that would be all that we need considering the number of personnel we have which is only twenty-three. She can get most day to day tasks done such as trouble-shooting systems, etc. but when the command team starts pulling her out of her office to help accomplish tasks they need completed at the higher level and asking her to do other things within the company she ends up having to work late because she does not have enough time to do the small but just as important tasks. So, with that, another disadvantage of the CIO’s expanded role would be working long hours to get everything accomplished.
I have went over just a few of the disadvantages of giving the CIO an expanded role in the corporation such as having to delegate many of their daily duties to their staff (if they have one), adding costs of training their staff due to their absence in the office, and working long hours to get the mission accomplished. These may or may not outweigh the advantages but one will think twice about the CIO’s role once they have compared the two.
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Bean, Martin. “So You Want to be a CIO?”
“IT Careers and Work Life Balance.” 17 Sep. 2001.
Ware, Lorraine C. “January 2004 IT Staffing Update.” 3 Feb. 2004.
“What is a CIO?” 27 June 2001.