Alison, true. However I have never been comfortable with the title CIO as whenever people used to talk about CIO the discussion was about technology purchasing decisions and implementation of variety of networks etc. This is not what the chief 'information' officer should do. It is the responsibility of chief technology officer by literal meaning. It is better to separate both the titles and evaluate as to who deserves to be on the C-level executives' team if not both.
SyedZunair, can't disagree with you on that. The firms are certainly trying to get the best out of the human resources. However I would still reiterate my point about technology companies that see both information and technology as separate domains and they are likely to hire both CTO and CIO separately. Manufacturing and other concerns are likely to hire a single person for both the roles.
If a company is large enough to warrant a CIO and a CTO, then I think yes, both should report to one person rather than have the CTO report to the CIO. Otherwise, as you say, the word "chief" is nonsensical in CTO. Within smaller orgs, I don't think you need a CTO and a CIO. You should be developing someone as the next CIO or the person to stand-in for the CIO should s/he need to be away for an extended period -- you need a line of progression, surely? But that person shouldn't have a "c" in their title.
@Alison: Dont you think that CTO should be reporting directly to the head of the company instead of reporting to CIO? If that is the case then, the word 'chief' in CTO does not have the meaning it conveys. Isn't it?
If you're a General Electric, IBM, or other large, multi-national, multi-billion-dollar organization, then having both would make sense because the workload is definitely there! And also you'd want to reward great people, make them want to stay with the company and have a strong career path, even though you can only have one CIO as the ultimate top-tech position. But for most companies I would think it makes sense to have one or the other: Perhaps a CTO who could be promoted to CIO, if warranted.
From an organizational perspective your analysis is absolutely correct. In order to define a clear hierarchy and level of responsibility the C level positions must be at the top of the chain. It doesn't make sense to open up two C levels positions within a department - most organziations view infrastructure & information to be part of a single department called IT (or they come up with some other fancy name for it).
You are spot on. It seems to depend upon the organization to decide what they want and how much they can spend on it. If there is room for both and the organization is ready to spend they would hire different people & make two distinct positions. Otherwise, like I said one guy will have to do everything irrespective of the title of the position.
In an ideal world your analysis would have been spot on. Unfortunately, in the real world it rarely happens. With current economic situation firms are trying their best to get the most out of individuals even if it means making them work in multiple domain at the same time. The distinction in between CTO & CIO is there theoretically but practically firms tend to hire one guy who will have to do it all given the price tag that he comes at.
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