Chief Information Officer : A business strategy resource?

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Informatik; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, EMM (Entreprenörskap, Marknadsföring, Management); Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, EMM (Entreprenörskap, Marknadsföring, Management)

Abstract: This thesis aims at describing the CIO role from the perspective of two interviews and the literature on the subject. Our research questions mainly focus on the actual work of a CIO and are answered by providing a framework on how to view the CIO and the influence of the CIO. Influence meaning both on business and IT strategy. We have answered what the CIO role implies and how it is used in different organizations. To do this we have scanned current literature and also conducted two interviews with CIO’s from completely different organizations and resources. A framework for understanding how the IT strategy and business strategy is linked with the CIO as a resource has been created and our interview findings are presented in this framework. We have also found that the CIO with little involvement in overall business strategy decisions has less influence on the IT strategy. This is ex-plained by the nature of the organization and the view of IT. A CIO’s primary function could be to strategically align IT with business or to make sure that the IT systems runs flawless. These can be viewed as counterpoints but since the role today is changing from being operative to working more with strategic questions it is not a strange finding. The influence a CIO has in business strategy questions ranges from none to a lot, based on how the CIO role is defined by the organization. This is also well in line with the view of IT. When viewing IT as something that has the possibility to gain competitive advantage, IT gain more credibility, hence the CIO gains more influence on business strategy decisions. We also found that the CIO not only has the overall responsibility of IT in the organization, but also that s/he is supposed to work with questions of concern to the business. This forces the CIO to have an understanding of the end-customer, which in itself creates a better understanding for the business strategy. The CIO should work with questions that not only meet the current demand of the organization they support, but also future needs and potential opportunities where IT can be of specific interest.

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