Information Systems Management – As the IT world progresses, the importance of creating, controlling and updating a solid information management system has become more apparent to company leaders and shareholders. Piece-milling this huge project out to various managers, as it is commonly done, is a good way to ensure ones Enterprise Architecture to fall sort of expectation and business requirements. As technological advances continue to exponentially multiply, the need for a talented, focused, and well trained IT person becomes greater. To this end, the past few years have been witness to an offshoot of tech specific managerial positions spring up. No longer just CEOs and COOs, now we have CIOs, CTOs, CSOs and a whole slew of other acronymic titles to represent today’s dedicated information systems managers (Stout).
Information systems projects can be big jobs that take a special kind of person with unique skills in order to lead them to success. One example of the aforementioned tech-titles that tackle this task, is a CIO, or Chief Information Officer (Wood). With the synergistic blend of technical prowess and business savvy the CIO is responsible for multiple things. To sum it up, the role of the CIO is to ensure its company’s “information technology investments are aligned with its strategic business objectives. To this end, the CIO has emerged as the key executive for information assets, operations, and policy (Klinowski & Mullins).” Additionally, due to today’s heavy dependence upon IT structure and process, the CIO is often evolved with every department and is often expected to take a direct role in the strategy and tactical business moves and guide corporate policy direction (Klinowski & Mullins).
There are many qualities that are essential for a CIO to possess. Innovation, Alignment, and Agility are three of the more important (Nash). The right person has the ability to envision and embrace change, guide changes to align with the company’s culture and objectives, and be flexible and fast so not to miss an opportunity as it presents itself and help keep their company ahead of the competition. As a way to further demonstrate the qualities needed to succeed as a CIO I have decided to spotlight Fed Ex CIO and CIO Magazine Hall of Famer, Robert Carter. A true innovation leader and tech supporter, Carter is a six-time winner of the CIO award that names the top 20 CIOs (Lynch et al). His extraordinary foresight and ability to comprehend the potential in IT lead to the creation and implementation of FedEx’s revolutionary Bluetooth-powered package tracking system. His agility was evident when Carter established a temporary IT facility post Hurricane Katrina that enabled 10,000 packages to be returned to sender rather than lost in mess (Lynch et al).
Aside from being innovative, agile, and altruistic, today’s CIO will find the need to have powerful people skills. As their role progresses it becomes less hand on and more business orientated and being able to process computers and people alike will prepare them for the world of business politics. Management of information systems is now a full time job that requires full-time attention from a dedicated professional. The CIO is an example of just one character that fits the bill.