Given the crucial role that IT plays in businesses today, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is seen as having a significant responsibility in ensuring that IT'S value is optimized. However, the history of IT investments has not been glowing and, as a consequence, blame for this situation is usually placed at the feet of the CIO. To explore further the role of the CIO and its link with organizational performance, interviews were conducted with CIOs, CxOs, and commentators. From an analysis of the data, a model linking the CIO role with organizational performance enabled by IT was developed. This model highlights the critical factors contributing to CIO and, ultimately, IT success. Of central importance is the environment within which the CIO operates and, in particular, the pivotal role of the IT savviness of the CEO and the leadership team. It reveals some uncomfortable lessons for CEOs and other c-suite members.
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