Technology Strategic Planning Through Corporate Governance Term Paper

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CIO in Effective Information

Technology Strategic Planning through Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

Corporate governance can be defined as the governing structure which allows a board of directors to ensure transparency, quality, accountability and fairness within a firm and in their relationships with their stakeholders (Monks & Minow, 2011).

The corporate governance structure constitutes of:

Direct and indirect engagements between a firm and its various stakeholders.

Measures for integrating the often incompatible interests of stakeholders.

Measures taken for appropriate administration, management, and flow of data to function as a framework of check and balance (Monks & Minow, 2011).

The aim of corporate governance is to enable operative, innovative and sensible management that can add to the long-term success goals of the firm. Companies are streamlined and managed by the use of corporate governance. While the board of directors forms the controlling body, it is the responsibility of the stakeholders to select these managers with an operational framework in place (Fernando, 2009).

The board is accountable for the company's strategic goals, how ideas are driven and put into effect, management supervision and presenting a report to the stakeholders regarding their actions and the company's situation (Fernando, 2009).

Corporate governance, at the end of the day is all about performance. How the "board of directors" act, aim and set the company up for future success and how the company's full-time executives create a frictionless setup aside from everyday operations and management (Fernando, 2009).

The non-listed sector stands to gain a lot from good corporate governance because at its core it is all about improvement within existing structures of corporate governance. In the last few years corporate governance has come to be synonymous with management and accountability even beyond the corporate sector (Fernando, 2009).

Multiple studies have attributed great commercial performance to better corporate governance (Fernando, 2009).

The prospects and hazards that larger IT investments present demand board-level input. Since corporate governance holds board members accountable for operational and economic performance, it is essential that executives make informed decisions when it comes to IT strategy. However, it is irrational to expect board members to be familiar with IT vernacular and to tackle this issue as board-level IT oversight committee can be established.

IT governance is rapidly becoming an essential part of corporate governance and bad decisions in this matter can make or break a firm. A good IT setup can really set a corporation up for success and the recent failures of corporate heads when it comes to devising IT strategy make the need for an IT oversight committee more urgent. The committee will not only facilitate the board, but also aid in achieving a superior legal and monitoring compliance (Posthumusa & Solms, 2005).


Chief information officer (CIO) refers to the individual executive delegated with the charge of information technology (IT) strategy, operations and management of the tech support (Rouse, 2015).

A CIO's role is multifaceted and depends on the tech and business innovations of the day just as much as their own goals and talent. Although it might seem centuries ago to the current twitter generation, there was a time when IT executives had unrestricted control and access to back office functions; the commands originating from a singular mainframe. This was also the time of the "in-house" programmers when a tightly knit team of professionals created homegrown software and technical solutions. COI's were strictly technical personnel with little to no knowledge of the business aspect of their companies (Von Simson, 2013).

However, with the wave of innovations and the current way the IT sector has expanded, many COI's are no longer restricted to their computers, they are also dabbling in the user's domain. There is also a lot of outsourcing as well. The knowledge base is no longer restricted for the COI; it is not just about
...It was by 1998 that the first wave of COIs came from non-IT fields (Von Simson, 2013).

CIO as an executive

Before technology and data became so important, the major role of a COI was focused entirely on technical matters. In the mid-1980's the position of a COI could not be an executive one. Today, their position is a vital one that can make or break a company's future. Many firms have COIs that answer directly to the CEO while in others they often sit amongst the board of directors, driving the company's future. It is the responsibility of the COI to keep the executive body and employees up to speed with the advantages and risks of IT frameworks (Rouse, 2015).

The increased importance and responsibilities of a COI has altered their role according to a survey conducted of 2,810 CIOs by the consultancy Gartner Inc. in 2015. It proved that nearly half of the COI's now have a COI of IT. Here are some of the statistics globally.

1) In Asia 60% of CIOs in Asia now have a COO of IT

2) In North America the percentage is lower with 34% of COIs having a COO for IT

3) Almost 70% of the communications industry has CIOs.

4) For wholesale CIOs the percentage is at 30%(Rouse, 2015).

CIO as a Strategic Planner

The role of the COI first came to be with the usage of computing within businesses in the later 1950's and 60's. In the 1999 study, "The Evolving Role of the CIO" authored by Jeanne W. Ross and David F. Feeny, first-generation IT heads formulated a department called "electronic data processing" that was later referred to as the information systems (IS) department. According to MIT Sloan School of Management, this era is also regarded as the "mainframe period" that lasted from 1960s to the early 1980's. Building an IT or business strategy was not even in the remote responsibilities of a CIO. Their major job focus was the delivery of new setups, their smooth running and maintaining high productivity of these systems within a set budget, according to the study by Ross and Feeny (Rouse, 2015).

However, the tide changed; the IS role evolved, grew bigger and became far more controversial. A gap of dissatisfaction presented itself between the IS and the managers due to the backlog that grew because of their increased role and responsibility. Today, the major goal of a COI is to align IT with business requirements. This naturally diversifies and expands the skill set requirement for the COI (Rouse, 2015).

The integration of PCs within the office setup in the early 1980's expanded the role of the IT system and their staff with needs spread out throughout a company and not just focused on the data processing departments. With the expansion of specialized IT requirements, IT vendors too made their entrance; good examples would be Microsoft and Intel. Employees were exposed to better and more efficient technology (Rouse, 2015).

As these specialized needs surfaced, so did the associated managerial hiccups and expenses associated with the maintenance of autonomous pockets of IT often referred to as shadow IT. More than a few companies divided control to save and streamline their operations by integrating a federated model in which some IT systems remained under IT's control while other technologies were moved under local management.

Now the COI's role further evolved with responsibilities like procurement of efficient systems, their proper integration and solid networking. It is this era which laid the basis for "enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suites." These suites aimed to not only manage, but also save data collected. However, this activity was not centered in a department, but rather managed and produced at different levels of the company. While these systems eased operations and offered greater quality, the implementation of such intricate setups was both expensive and hard. Not only was this COI often faced with massive failures due to these systems, the requirement of a substantial business process re-engineering (BPR) was no walk in the park (Rouse, 2015).

When the 1990's welcomed the public to complete access of the (WWW), the role of IT with business operations was both augmented and expanded. This new era welcomed CIO's multifaceted role as any company's expert authority on all matters related to technology. It was the time for COIs to map not just an IT strategy, but discuss aspects of a business strategy as well. The web-based era opened the door for COIs to venture beyond IT management into the world of commercial interpretation of how the public's usage of the internet was going to affect businesses and the commercial world (Anderson, 2006).

To assess how IT can create business worth, CIOs must hold on to a variety of market tangibles, like,

1) Technological innovations

2) Product offers by multiple vendors

3) Disruptive technology

4) Most importantly, a customer base that is increasingly demanding interaction on the online platform as well as physical presence.

According to expert opinion, the pressures of the current market and the adaptability required are greater on the CIOs than it ever was in the thirty-year history of the…

Sources Used in Documents:


Anderson, W. (2006). Unwrapping the CIO: Demystifying the Chief Information Officer Position. iUniverse.

Broadbent, M., & Kitzis, E. (2005). The New CIO Leader: Setting the Agenda and Delivering Results. Harvard Business Press.

ComputerWeekly. (2005, July). What exactly does a chief information officer do? Retrieved from

De Haes, S., & Grembergen, W. (2004). IT Governance and Its Mechanisms. Information Systems Control Journal, 1.

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