04.03.22 How the CIO role is changing
How many know of you know what a CIO or CTO actually does? To be frank, some of you may not even be familiar with these terms. You’ve likely grown up in an era where technology decisions are well-dispersed throughout a company. Essentially, as technology cascades down through global organizations, an increasing number of applications, platforms and tools are being initiated and administered within specific business functions (vs. centrally). Since virtually every job involves interfacing with technology, you should be aware of how this structure differs from earlier years, where a CIO (Chief Information Officer) was the “keeper” of firmwide technology and responsible for virtually all of an organization’s strategic and tactical decisions in this area.
Why does this shift matter? As you interview with varying kinds of firms, each having its own distinct organizational structures, you may still encounter (particularly at final interview stages) executives with a CIO title. Thus, it’s worth learning how a CIO may differ from a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and understanding how various elements of technology (e.g., AI, cybersecurity) are led and cascaded throughout a particular firm. When you take the time to research and understand such relationships, and can show that you appreciate this evolution, you will easily distinguish yourself from your peers.
This recent Wall Street Journal article highlights the shifting perspective just noted.