Chief information officer


The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for the overall management of an organisations information and communication technology services. The CIO does not provide any of the hands on services to ICT clients, however, they are responsible for ensuring that the ICT services provided are meeting the needs of the business.

The CIO has a responsibility to ensure that ICT helps the business to achieve strategic and operational goals that have been identified in the organisations strategic and operational plans. As a leader in the business the CIO will take part in identifying these goals.

The CIO will work with the business to identify what potential areas of growth that will need increased ICT support, once armed with that information the CIO will ensure that the ICT area has the capability to support the business when the need arises. The CIO is required to have very strong managerial and financial skills.

A CIO exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and the Leadership competencies for Queensland.

SFIA profile

Within the SFIA profile, the ICT CIO has level seven capabilities i.e. set strategy, inspire and mobilise on the skills outlined below.

Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.

SFIA skillSFIA skill codeSFIA skill level of responsibilitySFIA skills level descriptor
Strategic planningITSP7Leads the definition, implementation, and communication of the organisations strategic management framework and directs the creation and review of a strategy and plans to support the strategic requirements of the business.
Information governanceIRMG7Specifies at a strategic level the business functions and data subjects needed to support future business, thereby enabling the development of an Information Architecture. Establishes and communicates the organisation's information management strategy, developing it as an integral part of the business strategy. Directs information resources, to create value for the stakeholders by improving the performance of the organisation, whilst maintaining the principles of professional standards, accountability, openness, equality, diversity, and clarity of purpose. Responsible for compliance with regulations, standards and codes of good practice relating to information and documentation, records management, information assurance and data protection.
Enterprise and business architecture developmentSTPL7Directs the creation and review of an enterprise capability strategy to support the strategic requirements of the business. Identifies the business benefits of alternative strategies. Directs development of enterprise-wide architecture and processes which ensure that the strategic application of change is embedded in the management of the organisation. Ensures compliance between business strategies, enterprise transformation activities and technology directions, setting strategies, policies, standards and practices.
ConsultancyCNSL7Takes responsibility for a significant consultancy practice, including practice development, proposals/sales to internal or external clients, account management and managing the delivery of consultancy services over a wide range of topics.
IT managementITMG7Sets strategy for management of technology resources, including corporate telecommunications functions, and promotes the opportunities that technology presents to the employing organisation, including the feasibility of change and its likely impact upon the business. Authorises allocation of resources for the planning, development and delivery of all information systems services and products. Responsible for IT governance. Authorises organisational policies governing the conduct of management of change initiatives and standards of professional conduct. Maintains an overview of the contribution of programmes to organisational success. Inspires creativity and flexibility in the management and application of IT. Sets strategy for monitoring and managing the performance of IT-related systems and services, in respect of their contribution to business performance and benefits to the business.

Leadership skills

Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.

Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the value proposition of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:

  • Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
  • Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
  • Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
  • Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
  • Chief executive (leads the organisation).

When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.

Entry points

To have a career such as a chief information officer, a bachelor level degree in areas such as information technology, information systems or business would be highly regarded.

Learning and development

Formal training and on-the-job experience are important ways to improve and develop the required skills.