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What is the CIO really responsible for?

Posted by editors itwnet     October 13, 2005     6 views    
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A GAO study about the responsibilities that CIO's have in practice in private companies.

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published a study about what CIO's in private companies actually are responsible for in practice: "Chief Information Officers. Responsibilities and Information and Technology Governance at Leading Private-Sector Companies". Goal of the investigation was to make an inventory of what responsibilities GAO considers as essential for good IT Governance are really practically being assigned to CIO's, and compare these from private sector to federal organizations.

Those responsibilities are:

  • Capital planning and investment management
  • Enterprise architecture
  • Information security
  • Information technology/information resource management (IT/IRM)strategic planning
  • IT/IRM workforce planning
  • Major e-gov initiatives
  • Systems acquisition, development, and integration
  • Information collection/paperwork reduction
  • Records management
  • Information dissemination
  • Privacy
  • Information disclosure/freedom of information
  • Statistical policy and coordination
  • Most of the private-sector CIOs had or shared responsibility for nine of the twelve functional areas GAO explored. Among the functional areas where most of the private-sector CIOs had or shared responsibility, five?systems acquisition, IT capital planning, information security, IT human capital, and e-commerce?were the responsibility of eighteen or more of the twenty private-sector CIOs.

    In only three areas, being information dissemination and disclosure, information collection, and statistical policy, did half, or fewer, of the CIOs have responsibility. The set of responsibilities assigned to these private-sector CIOs was similar to the set assigned to federal CIOs. In most functional areas, there was little difference between the percentage of private-sector CIOs having or sharing a particular responsibility and what we found among federal CIOs in our prior work. In four of the twelve functional areas? enterprise architecture, strategic planning, information collection, and information dissemination and disclosure, the difference between the private-sector CIOs and federal CIOs was greater; fewer of the private-sector CIOs had these responsibilities in each case.

    For the complete report, click here