A Chief Information Officer, or CIO for short, is the highest-ranked position in the Information Technology (IT) department of any company.
In most company structures they represent they’re the senior executive in their department and answer directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The first accounts of the role within companies are from the 1980s.
Since then, as with all things IT, the role has seen a massive expansion in duties and responsibilities.
What/Who is the Chief Information Officer (CIO)?
Since the beginning of the 21st century, IT has seen a massive expansion around the globe.
Nowadays, effectively all companies handle at least some portion of their business operations using computers, software, the internet, etc.
Until recently, IT in most companies worked as an individual unit, often getting outsourced, and did not serve a part in company strategy.
However, as technology became a key factor to success no matter the business type, the need for an “IT expert” filling an executive role in the company arose.
This shaped the role of the CIO to what it is today.
At their core, CIOs are expected to search for new tech that will give their business the upper hand in the market.
They’re expected to find, follow, suggest, and often negotiate the use of hardware, software, and similar solutions.
To best implement the decisions made, the CIO must surround himself with other IT experts capable of carrying out his strategy.
In terms of expected income, top job and worker advertising website ZipRecruiter puts it well in the six-figure category, averaging at around $150,000 annually.
The Most Successful Companies Have The Best CIOs
As with all executive roles, a CIO handles many things at the same time.
The most basic CIO responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Technology implementation
- Business strategy
- Employee management
- System upkeep
- Reporting to relevant higher-ups
CIOs must be innovative with their ideas and strategic approach to tech implementation, but also conservative with company resources.
They must follow industry trends and new solutions relevant to their business.
But before implementing any of these, they need to have a clear vision of the company’s future to make a fitting decision.
Just like other executive positions, CIOs are often the most experienced (seniors) in their department.
As such, they’re also expected to handle employee relationships as well.
This includes everything from being involved in the hiring process, making sure adequate training is performed, but also handling personal relationships.
As the role of CIO has evolved, so have the tools they can use to their advantage, such as cloud-based software capable of handling/automating many of their daily tasks.
The Biggest Challenges Your CIO Will Face In 2021
2020 has seen a rather drastic shift in working culture.
If you’re like most people, chances are your company has moved (at least partially) to remote work.
While employees are adapting to their new work-life balance, executive branches have been working around the clock to keep their companies on course.
CIOs will find themselves with many challenges, including:
1. Managing remote workers
Handling everyday HR & IT processes remotely can easily be handled using Cloud-based management software. However, keeping employees engaged while most of them work from home has a set of challenges of its own. Read all about how to identify and overcome them in our blog post.
By far the biggest challenge facing the CIOs of today is a network and data security. Working from home and having so many moving pieces has only made this task more difficult. To learn more about cyber-security and remote work, read our post about the best remote employee practices you can implement.
3. Budget Constraints
Even if your business has experienced growth over 2020, you’ve likely run into some uncertainty when it comes to budgeting. CIOs might be excited about new tech solutions that come out – but as executives – they’re responsible for balancing the risk VS reward of making new acquisitions, purchases, upgrades, etc. This could be a key difference between the good from the very best CIOs.
4. Maintaining Customer Satisfaction
Balancing customer experience with new-era challenges is a “make or break” for many companies. The CIOs of today are expected to handle the difficult task of maintaining high levels of Cyber-Security VS Workflow VS Customer Satisfaction. With all three aspects built off of each other, mishandling one can create a chain reaction.
A challenge that’s not talked about enough in today’s work culture. CIOs represent seniors in their department, however, everything around them is evolving. The final test CIOs, as well as other executive roles, are facing is their ability to learn.
CIOs and The Importance of Information Security
Information is the most valuable and delicate asset in many modern businesses.
It comes in many shapes and sizes:
- Employee information
- Customer details
- Company records
- Financial reports
- Photographs, videos, ID documents
- Business contracts, etc.
It’s no wonder why information security is becoming such a large industry.
CIOs find themselves at the top of this pyramid in many companies.
While they don’t work alone, ultimately, the key responsibilities are on them.
Cracks in information security pose the biggest threat to most enterprises.
Leakage, misuse, data corruption, even loss of information, so many things can go wrong.
In best-case scenarios, this can lead to the user and work dissatisfaction and loss of business/employees.
As much as 80% of customers report dropping brands who’ve had a recent issue with information security, even if not personally affected.
Finally, the worst place a CIO can find themselves is the company facing legal action due to information security lapses.
The Benefits of AppsCo In Cyber-Security
AppsCo is an HR and IT master-management tool fit for all businesses.
Many of its features go hand-in-hand with cyber-security:
- Managing all devices
- Approving/Disproving logins
- Integrating company policy
- IP whitelisting/blacklisting
- Mobile access and user friendly
- Adding multi-factor authentication (such as 2FA)
- Keeping records and insights on activity
- Sharing resources securely
AppsCo is completely cloud-based, meaning it can be accessed via an internet connection through a variety of devices.
All this can be achieved using just ONE app.