Thousands of information-technology professionals now hold the lofty title of chief information officer, though many are no more than de facto chief technology officers. Why? Many CIOs have insufficient power to be truly accountable for the management of information. Contributing to the power vacuum: a lack of generally accepted standards or regulatory requirements comparable to those for chief financial officers. The Department of Defense, for one, recognized that shortcoming and issued a directive on May 2 that strengthens the authority of its CIO. A checklist, synthesized by Baseline contributor Paul A. Strassmann from the 14-page directive, provides a tool for companies to assess whether their CIOs have sufficient power to effectively perform their jobs. That checklist includes 15 "must-have" responsibilities and nine "should-have" duties.
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