Chief Information Officer: Getting Down to Business

The chief information officer (CIO) must wear many hats. Because even though the CIO heads the information technology group within an organization, the scope of responsibilities and expectations for this title have expanded to focus on aligning technology to the needs of the business.

As such, the diverse nature of a CIO’s job brings with it flexibility in duties and schedules.

A precedent has been set for CIOs: A more dynamic, versatile and business-focused leader who can demonstrate how an IT arm is influencing and supporting the rest of the business in regard to sales, costs, profits and revenues. The IT function has become a business of its own.

The CIO role has been revamped to cover an array of duties and tasks often tied to the business side of organizations. The CIO role and IT as a whole, however, are still evolving and have plenty of room to grow. Because of this, many adaptations must be made, and a CIO’s average day is anything but normal.

Ellen Barry, CIO of Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), a municipal corporation that promotes and operates conventions, fairs and expositions in the Chicago area, said her day revolves around serving the customer rather than any set agenda.

“My days rarely follow a plan, other than prescheduled meetings, because we attempt to be very responsive to our customers and the shows and events that utilize our facilities,” Barry said. “A typical day for me includes interaction with my operational units…


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