The Evolving Role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)

The Evolving Role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Brian Davis (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) and Joe McDonagh (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6473-9.ch010
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Abstract

The new role of CIO was created in the early 1980s, a time when organizations had just begun to recognize the strategic importance of IS. Prior to that, the most senior role in IS had been that of the IS Manager, a functional or line manager role with only limited involvement with top management. This new role was expected to work within the top management team to “bridge the gap” between the IS department and top management, to ensure the ongoing successful exploitation of IS across the organization. Today, it has been suggested that the role of CIO has now evolved to cover the need to also “bridge the gap” between the organization itself and its external IS technological environment. The purpose of this chapter is to review the IS management literature relating to the CIO in order to gain a greater understanding of the evolution of this role.
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The Evolution Of The Role Of Cio

A number of models have been put forward in an attempt to help describe how the management of IS in organizations has evolved over the years, with the growing sophistication in the use of IS (Somogyi & Galliers 1987, Hirschheim, Earl et al. 1988, Earl 1989, Ward, Griffiths et al. 1990, Ross & Feeny 1999, Somogyi & Galliers 1999). For the purpose of this review of the IS management literature, the researcher has chosen to adapt the model originally developed by Ross and Feeny (1999), as this model was specifically developed to address the evolution in the role of the CIO. This model is described in terms of three distinct technology eras: The Mainframe Era, The Distributed Era and The Web Era. Each of these technology eras has seen a fundamental shift in the range and type of opportunities available to organizations for the implementation of IS, based on the changes in the capabilities of the underlying IT technologies.

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