Bridging the CIO-CEO gap: It takes two to tango
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Despite the growing importance of information technology (IT) in organizations, chief executive officers (CEOs) and top management teams exhibit an alarming degree of distrust toward IT and chief information officers (CIOs). This CIO-CEO gap can be explained by several factors including failure of IT to deliver value, poor understanding of IT by business executives, lack of a clear vision with respect to IT, different worldviews of business executives and technology specialists, lack of a shared vision in relation to IT, poor relationship skills of CIOs, and criticism of IT by so-called experts in the popular and academic press. These factors stand in the way of a good CIO-CEO relationship, IT alignment with organizational goals, and improvement in organizational performance with the help of IT. Bridging the gap requires a set of joint and independent actions by the CIO, the CEO, and the entire top management team. Recommendations for both CIOs and CEOs include communication, knowledge sharing, and developing a shared vision in relation to IT. CIOs are advised to focus on business value and develop managerial, leadership, and political skills. CEOs should establish an appropriate reporting structure for the CIO, educate top managers regarding IT, and increase personal involvement in and support of the IT function and the CIO.