The role of CIO has many variations within a company. In many cases, a CIO reports directly to the chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer, or finance officer. In military organizations, the CIO reports directly to the commanding general (CNO). A CIO may be an employee of the company, or may serve on a company's board of directors. In some cases, a CIO will also be responsible for strategic planning.
As a member of a company's executive team, the CIO manages the information technology department. He or she is responsible for making technological functionality work to improve company productivity. Often, the CIO's goal is to automate repetitive and complex tasks, and ensure that technological functionality supports the vision of the CEO. In most organizations, a CIO has a bachelor's degree in computer science, although some employers may require a master's degree in business administration or another related field.
The CIO's role is to act as the business and IT head of an organization. He or she aligns the company's goals with its IT infrastructure. He or she directs IT staff in implementing the IT plan. He or she ensures that the organization's IT systems are properly used. Typically, a CIO has a background in business and technology. A CIO who works for a large company is well-versed in the details of the company's technology.