The role of the CIO, the Chief Information Officer, has been debated about as long as the term in itself exists. Rarely before has there been such a misleading description, because in many companies the person assuming the position of CIO was rarely seen as the chief ‘Information’ Officer. People mostly perceived him as “Top Dog of the Nerd Herd and Boss of all things Bits and Bytes”.

A friend sent me this article and asked me my thoughts. As an MIS professor one might think this would bother me. But it actually reinforces something I have been saying for years. At ECU we say “Business + Computers = MIS” or + Technology. The idea here is that the value is how we use technology to meet business needs. My students know that I approach each issue as a business issue, not a technology issue. The value we can bring to any organization is via. information, not the technology. Sure we enable organizations to use technology to get the information, but the technology without the information is of little value.

Often I will ask my students, “if you own a business should you spend $50k on a new Information System or a boat?” They also look at me like it’s a trick question and say “Information System”. I then ask why? If you can improve the business by investing in the Information System then it will enable you to buy a bigger boat. But if it can’t do that, buy the boat 😉

via Business Insider.

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