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April 09, 2009


joseph martins

Chuck, your post reminded me of a discussion I have had many times in the past. Allow me to wander a bit...

Chief Information Officer - quite possibly one of the greatest business misnomers of all time.

I'm still waiting for someone to explain the role of the "I" in CIO. The word infrastructure is far more appropriate given the CIO's focus...perhaps with a dotted line to information. I suspect 91% of industry watchers would agree.

Savvy companies understand that information usually has no "real" champion at the executive table...certainly not the CIO whose skillset is generally not appropriate for, and whose directives may be at odds with, sound corporate information management. Those who can afford to establish roles primarily responsible for IM (e.g., Chief Knowledge Officer or Chief Preservation Officer) eventually do.

If CKOs and CPOs are the architects of IM, you can think of CIOs as the general contractors. (It's a good thing I'm not competing in a popularity contest.)

I believe it is absolutely essential that EMC help its customers understand that information stewardship and accountability must be elevated to the C-level. And I would strongly advise against adding these to the CIO's already hefty list of responsibilities.

Let's talk about the state of the state of information stewardship and accountability. I'd like to see a few charts about that.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Joseph -- you may be new to this blog, so let me offer up a few past posts that you might find interesting.

"The Information Protection Wheel" http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2009/01/the-information-protection-wheel.html

"GRC Thinking From An IT Perspective" http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2009/01/grc-thinking-from-an-it-perspective.html

"The Informationist Revisited" http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2009/01/the-informationist-revisted.html

... and one that has the charts you asked for ... "Information Governance Enters The Mainstream" http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2008/10/information-governance-enters-the-mainstream.html

Good reading!


Cross post as this has sparked some debate especially around Information Assurance/Security and is an ongoing theme around CIO's roles, responsiblities and accountability... latest iteration sparked by your post :)


"Somewhere around the late 90s, this “CIO” title started to became the role “title” of choice for the most senior IT person in the organisation. Out went “IT Director”, “IT General Manager” and similar titles, and in came the trend of “CIOs” starting to consider themselves business people. Now at the time, most CIOs were IT people and drawing that long bow to be now viewed by their own staff as “business people”, created one of the major turning points."

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    Chief Strategist, VMware Storage and Availability Business Unit

    Chuck works for VMware, and is deeply embroiled in all things software-defined storage these days.

    Previously, he was with EMC for 18 years, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Holliston, MA with his wife, three kids and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.
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