The principal role of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in today’s global business environment is to work with business colleagues, in the design of Information Technology (IT) systems to manage costs and risks (Martin, 2012). The ideal modern CIO is technically adept in IT and plays a central role in identifying loopholes and potential improvement areas in the IT systems of their companies. Such CIOs act as team leaders in the development of software and installation of advanced IT systems. CIOs also play a coordinating role to increase the accessibility of information in their organizations. They also sit in executive committees of companies and contribute in formulation of strategies while assisting in the administration of the company.
Christopher Hurst, recently appointed as the CIO of Univision Communications Inc. is my favorite CIO. He previously acted as the CIO of National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) where he instituted global applications, infrastructures and improved IT operations which support the company’s global media portfolio. I like his style of leadership because he is proactive and passionate for business results that are technologically-driven. He also encourages post-implementation reviews and facilitates effective gathering and dissemination of information. He has proven leadership and organizational skills to transform global businesses and is an ideal candidate to lead almost any company in the role of a CIO.
NBC Universal is an “IT savvy” organization. NBC has had to adopt effective and evolving IT systems as it seeks to remain competitive in the communications, information and entertainment industry. In 2000 NBC purchased GlobalBrain, a company specializing in search engines. Thereafter NBC launched NBCi, a multi-faceted internet portal featuring chat, news capabilities, and personalization by users, webhosting, e-mail and community (CNetNews, 2001). The company had to cease using some features while maintaining others to ensure improved services to its audience. The company has also improved its operations by utilizing state-of-the art communication technology to reach its global audience in nearly all continents around the world. The company has also adopted web 2.0 technologies by featuring prominently in social networking sites such as twitter, facebook and its own NBC Live (tvguide.com). Using these and other social media platforms, NBC has managed to reach its global audiences in different parts of the world.
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