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The Gap between CIO Core Competencies

and the Real Roles of CIOs


Naoko IWASAKI
Associate Professor
Institute of e-Government, Waseda
University
703 Nishi Waseda Bldg, 1-21-1 NishiWaseda Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 169-0051
+81-3-5286-8032

obi.waseda@waseda.jp
ICEGOV2014, October 27 - 30 2014, Guimaraes,
Portugal Copyright 2014 ACM 978-1-60558-6113/14/10...$15.00
http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2691195.2691293

ABSTRACT
Our lives have become more convenient than before due to the
advanced technology. We are blessed by the benefits of the
information society. New industry has been developed by open
data. Promotion of e-Government leads to cost reduction by
utilizing cloud computing. On the other hand, by evolution of the
information society, we expose ourselves to the threat of viruses
and cyber-attack. Under these circumstances, CIOs are
responsible for various competencies such as ICT strategies for eGovernment, risk management, information assurance and cyber
security, ICT budget, ICT investment and compliance.
This paper analyzes the new trend of CIOs functions in the aspect
of CIO Core Competencies. CIO Core Competencies were
identified in the US in 1996. This paper prioritizes CIO Core
Competencies and finds that there is a gap between the Core
Competencies and real roles of CIOs. As a result CIOs do not play
an effective role in their organizations.
The methodology of this paper is data analysis of surveys done in
2006, 2009, 2012 and 2014. The 2014 survey on the preferred
Core Competencies was conducted in cooperation with George
Mason University (GMU) in the US, one of the 6 CIO universities
certified by the US Federal Government.

Categories and Subject Descriptors


K.6 [Management
Systems]:
K.6.0 General

General Terms

Economics,
Human
Standardization

of

Computing

Factors,

and

Management,

Information

Security,

Keywords

CIO (Chief Information Officer); Leadership; Governance; CIO


Core Competencies; Management; Security

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 The Required Functions of CIOs and
Previous Research

Our lives have become more convenient due to advanced


technology. We are enjoying the benefit of the
information
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244

society. New industries have been created by employing benefits


of open data. e-Government has been contributing to the cost
reduction by utilizing cloud computing. On the other hand, by
evolution of the information society, we expose ourselves to the
threat of viruses and cyber-attack.

Since CIOs were formally recognized in the early 1980s, their


responsibilities have undergone a drastic change. Mr. Harvey G.
Enns (2003) said it seems that the technical background of CIOs
does not appear to influence the behavior of top executive [3].

1.2 Definition of CIO and Hypothesis

Under these circumstances, CIOs play a critical role. Both public


and private sectors understand the importance of the new roles of
CIOs since they are responsible for ICT strategies for eGovernment, risk management, information assurance and cyber
security, ICT budget, ICT investment and compliance.

Iwasaki and Obi (2007) suggest the definition of CIOs as follows:


the current CIOs are executives whose main activities are to plan
and implement management and business strategies on ICT [4].
They should also be leaders with innovative thinking in order to
adapt the changes that constantly take place in the ICT field. CIOs
play an important role to manage with innovation to increase
profit and effectiveness.

Moreover, in recent years, the flow of work including a review of


the relationship between the stakeholders and the role of
government and the public sector, the restructuring of governance
are required. It is important for CIOs to utilize ICT as a tool.

This paper earlier refers to the discrepancy between the core


competencies and CIOs responsibilities in practice. I implemented
several surveys with the questionnaires from 2006 to investigate
this issue. The discrepancy has been widened because CIOs are
not fully aware of their own responsibilities.

This research shows that executives behaviors may acceralate


innovation through the use of ICT, in turn affecting business
performance. Pairash and Thaweesak (2010) mentioned the CIO
is a crucial component in a company so as to make a profit or in a
government organization so as to serve customers (citizens) more
effectively [1]. Anderson (2010) mentioned that responsible for
IT leadership, CIOs hold the greatest opportunity to influence IT
innovation [2]. New roles of CIOs such as business, management
and leadership have come to be the front as the new trend.

The prime demands for CIOs are Foresight, ICT investment,


Profit and Effectiveness based on the survey by Institute of eGovernment at Waseda University [5]. On the other hand, the
CIOs cannot understand the importance of these CIO Core
Competencies. Therefore, CIOs do not have an effective role in

245

the organizations in case that the above competences are not fully
utilized.

2. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CIO AND


CIO CORE COMPETENCIES
2.1 CIO Core Competence

The role of CIO has been changing. The US CIO Council


announced the Clinger-Cohen competencies in 1996. ClingerCohen Core Competencies are continuously updated. This series
of Core Competencies become a standard for CIOs. The latest
Clinger Cohen Core Competencies for CIOs in 2012 1 are as
follows.
1.0: Policy and Organization,
2.0: Leadership and Human Capital Management,
3.0: Process and Change Management,
4.0: Information Resources Strategy and Planning,
5.0: IT Performance Assessment: Models and Methods,
6.0: IT Project and Program Management,
7.0: Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC),
8.0: Acquisition,
9.0: Information and Knowledge Management,
10.0: Cyber security / Information Assurance (IA),

- CIOs are executives who plan and implement information


strategy as part of management strategies.

3rd generation; in the early 2000s


- CIOs are executives who play an important role in
business strategy, risk management, and Enterprise
Architecture (EA), leadership and communication fields.

th

4 Generation: In the 2010s


- CIOs are Chief Innovative Officers.

As mentioned in the above, the emphasis in the role of CIO has


been gradually shifting to business strategy, and management
rather than technology. The expectations of CIOs have expanded.

3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND


RESULTS
3.1 Research Methodology
In 2014, in cooperation with George Mason University in the US,
I conducted the 4th survey on preferred CIO core competencies in
2014 in order to analyze the historical changes of CIO. As for the
contents of this survey, I utilized a list of 13 current Core
Competencies which are rated from 1 to 4 (1. Not important, 2.
Not so important, 3. Important, 4. Very important). No. 13 core
competence is Society Environment and Technology. This
competence is added based on the comparative study on CIOs
between US and Japan.

11.0: Enterprise Architecture,

Date
Title of research

12.0: Technology Management and Assessment


Under the above CIO Core Competencies, there are over 500
learning objectives. The CIO Core Competencies and learning
objectives were introduced by the Clinger-Cohen Act in the US.
In order to perform effectively in each competence field, CIOs
should achieve the knowledge, skills and abilities of each core
competencies. These skills help CIOs to produce value-added in
organizations. The core competence were improved in 1999,
2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012 by the consortium of government
organizations, CIO universities, public sector and CIO Council
established by the General Service Administration (GSA) and
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the US government.

Targets

Contents

After the ICT revolution, by the remarkable development of


information and the communications environment, CIO has
evolved. The U.S. CIO Core Competencies have been improved
so as to meet these social and environmental changes.

2.2 History of CIO


The position of CIO was created after the IT revolution.
Changes of the roles and responsibilities of CIOs from 1980s to
2010s can be summarized as follows [6]:

1980s

st

Further, based on the results of the survey, I conducted the


following surveys simultaneously.

Generation; In the

- CIOs are chief information officers who manage


information systems and information distribution in offices.

1990s

2nd Generation; In the


2

https://cio.gov/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/02/2012Learning-Objectives-Final.pdf

Content
5th April , 2014
The 4th2 Preferred CIO Core Competencies in
2014
30
Students (CIO
and
to
be
CIOs),Business School CIO Program at
George Mason University, US
Work experience of 12 years
(average)
1. Analyze the historical changes of CIO
2.
1)The effect of new technology on the
CIO
2)The most important issue for the CIO
in natural disasters
3)Major challenges for CIOs within 2
years
4)The most important issue for the
CIOs in organizations

1)

The effect of new technology on the CIO

2)

The most important issue for the CIO in natural


disasters

3)

Major challenges for CIOs within 2 years

4)

The most important issue for the CIOs in organizations

The 1st and 2nd surveys were conducted in 2006, and the 3rd
survey in 2012, and the 4th survey in 2014. The title of survey is
Preferred CIO Core Competencies

Figure 1 2014 Preferred CIO Core Competencies


(Source: Institute of e-Government, Waseda University)

Figure 2 2012 Preferred CIO Core Competencies


(Source: Institute of e-Government, Waseda University)

Figure 3 2006 Preferred CIO Core Competencies


(Source: Institute of e-Government, Waseda University)

3.2 Results of this Survey


The results of the surveys revealed the changes over time of
preferred CIO Core Competencies from 2006 to 2014 as follows.
The major important competences were Policy, Process,
Panningand Security and on the contrary minor competences
are Project management Model and Society in the survey in
2014. In 2012 survey, 3 competences such as Leadership,
Policy and Security were the most important subjects. In case
of the survey in 2006 both Planning and Enterprise
Architecture were most important, but the ratio was not high.

According to these results by the above 3 surveys (Figures 1, 2


and 3), it is found that the role of CIO on Policy and
Organizational, Information Resource Strategy and Planning
and Government e-Business, e-Commerce has been
increasingly important. On the other hand, Leadership and
Management has not been highly required.
Next, I tried to evaluate the importance of each CIO Core
Competencies by calculating the average of very important.
The following figures are the changes over time of the preferred
CIO Core Competencies (2006-2014).

Table 1 the changes of the Preferred Core Competencies from 2006 to 2014
(Source: Institute of e-Government, Waseda University)
Average of Preferred Order
(2006~2014)

2006

2012

2014

Security and Information Assurance

Policy and Organizational

Information Resource Strategy and Planning

Process / Change Management

Leadership and Management

Enterprise Architecture

Technology Management and Assessment

Project / Program Management

12

Government / e-Business / e-Commerce

10

10

11

Society environment and technology

11

11

11

10

Capital Planning and Investment Assessment

12

13

12

Performance Assessment: Models and Methods

13

13

11

13

Acquisition

CIO Core Competencies

The average of ranking of preferred CIO Core Competencies in


order of importance is;

5)

Leadership and Management

1)

Security and Information Assurance

6)

Enterprise Architecture

2)

Policy and Organizational

7)

Technology Management and Assessment

3)

Information Resource Strategy and Planning

8)

Project / Program Management

4)

Process / Change Management

9)

Government / e-Business / e-Commerce

10) Society environment and technology

chain under the risk of terror attack, hurricane, earthquake and


other disasters. Therefore, how to deal with BCP by ICT should
be put on high priority of CIO activities in order to reduce the risk
and minimize the damages. As for the next survey on the major
significant issues having impact on CIO during natural disasters,
the most important role for CIOs is leadership: 20%, Business
Continuity Planning: 20%, Establishment of Communication and
guidance: 13%.

11) Capital Planning and Investment Assessment


12) Performance Assessment: Models and Methods
13) Acquisition
It is found the tendency of importance of CIO Core competencies.
Moreover, the new trend and discrepancy of CIOs functions in
the aspect of CIO Core Competencies.

Especially, the cloud computing was highly valued as


management for disaster prevention. However, according to the
Preferred Core Competence in 2014, cloud computing was not
valued higher than the previous one. In spite of that, the role of
open data is required as a new role for CIOs.

3.3 CIO for BCP

The role of CIO for Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is also the
key factor for influencing the activities in both public and private
sectors. BCP is applicable for one stop service as well as supply

3.4 Future Major Challenges

Figure 5 shows the result of 5 Major Challenges facing CIOs


within 2 years. The new requirements of CIOs responsibilities are
cyber security (25%), technology innovation (17%), mobile
devices (11%), Cloud Computing (8%) and Big Data (6%).
According to this result, the importance of cyber security has
not been changed comparing to the previous one. As a new trend,
big data became high on the list. It is particularly worth noting
that the core competencies regards as mobile technology with the
growth of importance of advanced technology.
It should be recognized in the Figure 5 that the subjects such as
foresight (planning), ICT investment, Security and
effectiveness (process) will still be of significance as well as
new technologies such as cloud computing, big data and other
major items in the future.

2%

3%

3%

3%

Leadership

3%

Business comtinuity Planning


Establishment of communication and
guidance
Disaster education

5%
5%

20%

5%

Security of ICT system


Process engenireing
Information Assurance

8%

Risk Management
strategy for business continuity
20%

10%

budget
management

13%

supply chain management


open data

Figure 4 the most important role for CIO for disaster management
(Source; Institute of e-Government, Waseda University)

Figure 5 Major challenges facing CIOs within 2 years


(Source; Institute of e-Government Waseda University)

4. ANALYSIS ON TRENDS
4.1 The trend of CIO Core Competencies

This historical comparative study over time on CIO Core


Competencies found the trends of Core Competencies for the CIO
have been changing as follows:
Since the CIO position was created, the role of the CIO has
changed largely. CIO was created with a purpose of converging
management and ICT originally. The CIO has expanded the areas
of his or her responsibilities to various functions and more
emphasis is placed on the management. However, the current
trend is that the emerging roles of the CIO have been shifting to
the following fields;
1.

Utilization of advanced technology like social media, cloud


computing and big data.

2.

Cyber security for reducing damage such as cyber-attack.

3.

Leadership for disaster management to reduce the damage


caused by natural disaster

4.2 The Categorized CIO Core Competencies


To analyze changes found in the last three surveys, Core
competencies are classified into the 3 Groups:

Group 1: Top priority of CIO core competencies


Policy, Security, Strategy, Innovation

Group 2: Middle priority of CIO core competencies:


Leadership for Management, EA

Group 3: Lower level of CIO core competencies:


Foresight,

Evaluation, Planning
First of all, by using 3 categories, it might be useful to understand
the characteristics of the model of CIO core competencies, based
on the table 2. Although the demand to CIOs has been expanding
every year, it is found that the tendency of preferred core
competences is changed in different dimensions.
Secondly, it is important for CIOs to have Technology
innovation, and business strategy. CIOs are defined Chief
Innovation officer. Therefore, CIO must treat with business
chance to gain new profit or effectiveness through utilizing
information and resources.
Thirdly, CIO core competencies of Group 3 such as Society
Environment and Technology, Capital Planning and Investment
Assessment Performance Assessment and Acquisition at
Table2 are not regard as important.
Why dont the CIOs think about the importance of ICT
assessment and investment? It is that the model of ICT assessment
has not been standardized.
To strengthen the CIO function in the new information age, it is
important for CIOs to emphasize foresight for the advanced
technology, society and the environment to realize innovation for
the profit and effectiveness. This trend can be seen in the CIO in
the US. Creating new business model in the IoT (Internet of
Things) era by fusing information department and management
department, CIOs contribute to get the profit of the organizations.
The author is especially interested in foresight because of
prevailing uncertainty and risk of information society.

Table 2 the Preferred CIO Core Competences


(Source; Institute of e-Government, Waseda University)
Group
Group1
Top Priority
Policy, Strategy, Innovation
Group2
Middle Priority
Leadership for Management,
EA,
Group3
Low priority
Foresight, Evaluation,
Planning

Average of Preferred Order


(2006~2014)
1 (up from 2006 to 2014)
1 (same)
3 (down)
4 (up)
5 (down)
6 (down)
7 (up)
8 (down)
9 (up)
10 (down)
11 (up)
12 (down)
13 (same)

The Preferred CIO Core competence


Security and Information Assurance
Policy and Organizational
Information Resource Strategy and Planning
Process / Change Management
Leadership and Management
Enterprise Architecture
Technology Management and Assessment
Project / Program Management
Government / e-Business / e-Commerce
Society environment and technology
Capital Planning and Investment Assessment
Performance Assessment: Models and Methods
Acquisition
and e-Participation in e-Government Initiatives, IOS Press
2010

5. CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION


This paper examined the CIO core competencies in the US. The
findings show there is larger gap between the current core
competencies which are introduced based on Clinger Cohen Core
Competencies and the real business responsibilities of CIOs.
According to the result of formulating the preferred CIO Core
competences (Table2), the demands for CIOs are Foresight,
ICT investment, Profit and Effectiveness. On the other
hand, the reality is Security and Information Assurance, Policy
and Organizational, Information Resource Strategy and
Planning and Process / Change Management.

[2] Anderson, George W (2010), The relationship between


Chief Information Officer transformational leadership and
computing platform operating systems, ProQuest, Ann Arbor
MI, 2010.
AAI339143http://search.proquest.com.ez.wul.waseda.ac.jp/s
ocabs/docview/1018358403/C7F342676AA84395PQ/14?acc
ountid=14891
[3]

This fact will be serious to the real business for CIOs in the near
future. If the CIOs cant play an important role, they cant get
benefit or effectiveness. For example, the result of the same
survey, CIOs tend to focus on the role on security and policy. It is
not concerned about the strategy or technology innovation.
In order to solve this issue, CIO should pay attention to the
current situation to implement the business and e-Government
more. Moreover, consideration with priority of Clinger Cohen
Core Competencies should be required more than now.
Finally it is recommended that the CIOs will utilize the theory and
practices for learning the best case studies on ICT management to
reduce the gap between CIO core competencies and real role of
CIOs to cope with smart government with efficient productivity.

[4] Iwasaki, Obi (2007)Measuring Effective Core Competence


for Business CIOs in the United States I-WAYS IOS press
ISSN 1084-4678 Volume 30, 2007
[5]

Iwasaki and Obi (2014) Understanding and


Importance toward the advanced technology of CIO in
the US, IAC Journal Japan, March 2014, pp24-31

[6]

Naoko IWASAKI (2008) The New Role of CIO Kanki


Publishing 2008

6. REFERENCES
[1]
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Pairash Thajchayapong, Thaweesak Konantakool, 2010.

roles of the chief information officer. The Innovative CIO

Harvey G. Enns MIS, OM and Decision Sciences


Department, School of Business Administration, University
of Dayton, Dayton, OH Sid L. Huff Ericsson Professor
Information Systems, School of Information Management,
Faculty of Commerce and Administration, Victoria
University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand Brian R.
Golden Rotman School of Management, University of
Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Canada, (2003) CIO influence
behaviors: the impact of technical background , Information
and Management archive Volume 40 Issue 5, May 2003 PP
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