The distraction? Throughout this essay, I will
The title of this essay is very interesting as it raises a number of questions and issues with regards to what could be considered ‘key activities’ for a Chief Information Officer (CIO) in organisations where certain aspects and operations of the Information Systems (IS) / Information Technology (IT) function have been outsourced.
What were these key activities before outsourcing, and what are they post outsourcing? If they have changed, then how have they changed and why have they changed? It also raises a number of issues facing CIO’s in the devolved outsourcing model, and what could be defined as the CIO’s “team” in the new world. Would the structure of the CIO’s team remain the same and would the same type of roles exist with in if outsourcing is the chosen strategy? Does outsourcing allow a CIO and their team to focus on the really key activities or is it a distraction?Throughout this essay, I will briefly look at what would be considered traditional key activities and highlight the comparisons with newer activities that have been forced upon CIOs as part of strategies that incorporate outsourcing. The questions raised in the previous paragraph will also be discussed in detail.The dependency on IS and its importance within organisations has increased in the past 30 years and so the CIO role has duly expanded in line with it. It during the 1980s when the IT/IS Manager function started evolving into the CIO role and CIOs started getting invited to board meetings.
This was a time when many companies went through major change and provided personal computers at all employee workstations. Unfortunately there is no exact definition of the CIO role as it is continuously changing, although the role would be similar in most organisations. Potentially the most exact current description would be: a senior executive that normally reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with a combined background and knowledge in technology and business, responsible for delivery of information and communication technology that meets all stakeholders requirements whilst aligning IT strategy with organisational strategy in order to positively add value to the organisation (Wadhwa and Harper, 2014).When the term CIO was created in the early 1980s, those who took on the title progressed from the technical role they had previously to one incorporating coordination of resources, IS human resources and the motivation of personnel, planning, communication, IS function repositioning and service delivery (Rockart, 1982).
With technological advancement and the quantity of information stored, data was fast becoming an asset to organisations as it could be used for competitive advantage.