The role of chief information officer (CIO) reports to the chief executive officer, or CIO. In some organizations, they report to the chief financial officer or chief operating office. In the military, the CIO may report to the commanding general. The term "CIO" first became popular in 1981, when William R. Synnott, a former senior vice president at the Bank of Boston, and William H. Gruber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, first defined the position. Today, the CIO typically serves on a board of directors.
The role of the CIO is changing with technological innovations and the rise of the cloud. The role of CIOs is less technical than in past decades, and many organizations have a growing number of CIOs. While CTOs have traditionally focused on technology as an external competitive advantage, CDOs are leveraging modern technologies to digitize business. In addition, many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree in business administration, which is highly valuable.
The Chief Information Officer has many responsibilities, including making and enforcing IT-related decisions and interacting with C-level executives. The role requires a combination of education, skills, and experience. Typically, hiring managers prefer candidates with at least five years of experience working in a company's IT department. Candidates who have demonstrated business acumen and are fluent in a variety of languages will make themselves stand out in the selection process.