Making the CIO Strategist and Executive Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

CIO- Strategist and Executive

Currently, Information technology (IT) is integral in providing business services, and the organization of information on the company. Business process, policies and plans have shifted from the back of the office to the internet. As the business embraces e-commerce and other innovative implementations of IT that assists organizations, leadership in controlling the business information resources becomes significant. The invention of new approaches and the improvement of old ones using the modern information era require strong engagement of information management from the commencement (Leidner, Preston & Chen, 2010).

The efficient, effective, and inventive application of information technology facilitates a high degree of leadership and insight that surpasses the IT functions. Researchers assert that the demand for strong control of information management necessitated the presence of chief information officer (CIO) in executive departments and organizations. The CIO has numerous responsibilities and duties in managing information in the business sector (Chen, Mockler, Preston & Teubner, 2010).

Virtually the key executive agencies recognize the relevance of a CIO, and most of them entrusts him/her with the responsibility of implementing valuable important information management processes based on business objectives. To obtain all the benefits information management development, organizations must exploit the potentials of CIOs as the information management leader and strong participants in the implementation of organizational strategic plans and policies. CIOs must respond to the challenges of developing credible agencies, and implementing and managing information management capabilities to meet organizational needs. This work helps businesses in discovering the relevance of the CIO (Chen & Preston & Xia, 2010)

Research and discussion gleaned from various researchers provides strong suggestions on what organizations ought to do to ensure efficiency of CIO organizations (Chen & Preston & Xia, 2010). This paper, however, avoids addressing the responsibilities of the CIOs strategic planner and executives. This only occurs when addressing the link that co-exists between business strategy and IT strategy, and in such cases, CIOs assumes the role of directing and guiding in the implementation process. In addition, the practices or rather the roles assumed by the CIOs differ from those of the executive (Leidner, Preston & Chen, 2010).

This study partially addresses those reasons from the context in which CIOs operates. The operational and structural functions of CIOs vary based on the level of mandated entrusted to them (Leidner, Preston & Chen, 2010). Job description defines the extent and responsibilities of the employees in the organizations. Therefore, the functions of the IT department management differ from those of the executive staff and so forth. In this case, claiming that CIO heads the IT department does not dismiss the relevance of the IT Manager. The CIO is in charge of ascertaining the efficiency of the information and confirming its future implications. This study shows a common ground between a strategist and executive, and they are inseparable. The roles of the strategists are similar to the roles of the executive. In essence, the position of a CIO in the organization is to enhance information management and development (Chen, Mockler, Preston & Teubner, 2010).

Discussion: CIO -- strategist and Executive

Many CIOs use IT strategies in redefining the significant components of Information Technology. This ranges from the costs incurred in making organizational infrastructure and structures, the staffs and the operations. The strategies have intimate links with business strategies, with a sole purpose of developing infrastructure as well as reforming the costs and processes. In other words, the CIO is a person with a vision and power to reform the overall business strategy. However, the organizations expect him/her portray organizational tactics, which is an inherent element. Some people argue that, streamlining organizational strategy is the responsibility of the CIO; however, Leidner, Preston & Chen (2010) asserts that, CIO bears the liability for misguided strategies.

For this reason, making strategies becomes a competent organizational function assumed by experts, and not by CIOs. The organization hires strategists to perform external evaluations analyze competitors and learn external trends that are applicable to their business. In essence, it is the responsibility of any leader to understand the visions of the organizations and the strategies required in accomplishing the vision. Some researchers believe that economic analysis dictates the kind of strategies developed, but Chen, Mockler; Preston & Teubner (2010) argue that driving elements of forming strategies come from organizational perspectives.

Though it sounds true, it is rather difficult to understand. The organization expects the CIO to bear the responsibility of misguided strategies at the outset of intense challenges. Alternatively, the staffs rely on the CIO to implement effective strategies in order to streamline the well being of the organization. If, therefore, the CIO bears the liability of developing organizational strategies, the strategic departments in most organizational become functionless. Preston, Karahanna & Rowe (2006) assert that many CIOs / executives endeavor to articulate the vision of their organizations. The strategic departs takes the responsibility of developing strategic plans, while the executive or the CIOs watches over the plans. They require directions from experts in implementing strategic plans, which relieves them the burden of assuming the responsibility of developing ineffective strategies (Chen & Preston & Xia, 2010)

Development and implementation of strategic plans to determine the success of any organization and single-handedly, CIOs are unable of leading the organization. Involvement of the top executives, strategic department staffs and other experts is very significant in determining the elements required in formulating enduring and effective strategies. Prior to implementation of any strategy, the CIOs must define the significance and implications of strategies implemented. For example, the CIO must identify the role played by various personnel involved with the development of strategies. In other words, the following questions are relevant before executing any strategic plans (Preston, Karahanna & Rowe, 2006).

a) What is the role of strategic department, and why does it matter in this case?

b) Do customers obtain any value from the strategic plans?

c) Do the strategic plans indicate any future implications?

In most cases, the role of the CIOs falls within the functions of the IT department, and, therefore, addressing CIO as a company becomes significant in this case. This is because, when the CIO takes the general responsibility of managing the procedures of strategic planning, the strategic department becomes functionless. Therefore, the CIO is a small company in disguise within the IT department. Even when faced with the intense pressures of formulating strategies, the CIO should focus on the company's vision and implement effective strategies.

The CIO is an IT leader, and the company gives him/her ample time for strategic planning. Information Technology departs plays an integral part in implementing organizational strategies, but development of sustainable and executable strategies is demanding, and requires vision and strong IT capabilities. In other words, practicing strong-based strategies means the following (Preston, Karahanna & Rowe, 2006).

Business capabilities means that the company must maintain a certain ordering procedure, retain productive staffs, provide resources and streamline IT in order to obtain defined business outcome results. In other words, business capabilities react to competitive risks, strategic loopholes, and economical changes. Therefore, the most significant thing is the maturity level of this capability in making the organizations flexible and responsive, to execute their strategy. In addition, the CIO and the top executive must maintain a clear link between IT potentials and organizational strategies in exploiting the significance of the IT investments.

They aim at developing strategic plans directed at full exploitation of the available market position and acquire many benefits. The direction employed by the personnel allows for environmental changes, market fluctuations and consumer changes allow business to adapt gradually. CIO functions as a mapping device in giving the visibility and illustrating the avenue for strategic position. he/she is also in charge of defining and delivering IT capabilities allied with strategic goals. In essence, the process of strategic development entails describing a set of potentials through the conceptual, rational and physical forms, making decisions at various organizational levels in order to maximize the value of IT within organizations (Preston, Karahanna & Rowe, 2006).

Though it sounds simple to implement IT strategies, it entails various components that may hinder the implementation process. Therefore, there is a need to break the business capability's elements into valuable constituents. For example, the success of effective strategic plans calls for the ability to perform, sound knowledge, effective policies, abundant resources and supportive organizational cultures and communications. A strong-based strategy leads to effective implementation as well as maximizing the capabilities of mature business enterprises. Furthermore, a strong strategic planning assists organizations in extracting the optimal value from IT capabilities by implementing decision-making processes at various levels (Preston, Karahanna & Rowe, 2006).

In addition, strong business capabilities facilitate responsive and flexible strategic planning and implementation. However, in case of any eventualities, organizations ought to have alternatives to assume the changes without causing any impacts. Contingency plans are necessary to absorb any sudden surprises unplanned for in the objectives. Therefore, before initiating the implementation process, organizations cross- examines the plans for efficiency. They also ensure a strong link…

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