Businesses committed to progress must keep up with rapidly evolving technology – anticipating trends, guaranteeing data capacity, and utilizing innovation. So who’s responsible for leading the charge, all while protecting the company’s systems and bottom line? Here are five roles that control the backbone of information technology.
CIO: Chief Information Officer – Median Income $160,000
Sometimes referred to as a CISO (Chief Information Systems Officer), this high-ranking position drives the organization’s objectives through technology. Focused primarily on internal customers, they are responsible for the enterprise-level network infrastructure, supporting data requirements and communication across the organization. This usually includes vendor negotiations for needed equipment, software, and services.
CIOs develop strategies and initiatives that employ information systems to support business processes. They propose budgets for programs, upgrades, and IT-related projects. The CIO role is shifting more toward business management, with an emphasis on special expertise in finance, law, green tech, and security.
CTO: Chief Technology Officer – Median Income $150,000
This role is often confused with the CIO. The latter is concerned with the profitability of the IT structure, while the CTO is motivated by the external customer and uses technology to augment their organization’s offerings. Though they do share some responsibilities, the strategies a CTO develops are intended to increase revenue.
The CTO is responsible for the company’s web presence, maintaining site registration, up-time, and search engine optimization. They may conduct code reviews, test for conformance, and examine web analytics. If relevant, CTOs also supervise web application and software development.
CSO: Chief Security Officer – Median Income $150,000
While the CSO may also be required to provide for the physical security of employees and facilities, this job’s primary function is to shield the organization’s data from internal and external threats.
The goal is to proactively protect sensitive information by identifying vulnerabilities, creating security solutions, and developing and implementing policies and procedures, which the CSO then communicates to employees. Staff training and active system monitoring help ensure security. The CSO may also be involved in plans for disaster recovery and business continuity efforts.
VPIT: Vice President of Information Technology – Median Income $140,000
The VP of IT is the visionary, anticipating company growth and using emerging technology to support long-term objectives. They implement and maintain current systems and infrastructure while analyzing new possibilities for integration.
The VP allocates resources, prioritizes IT projects, and administers the development of applications and technology, providing leadership for development teams. Plans, policies, programs, and schedules for networks, computer services, data processing, and business operations are directed and managed by the VP.
ITSM: Information Technology Security Manager – Median Income $135,000
An Information Technology Security Manager establishes the company’s security strength via guidelines, design, and training. The role oversees risk audits and assessments, implementing appropriate security solutions and collaborating with other departments to ensure that employees comply with procedures. The ITSM maintains an awareness of possible threats and plans countermeasures for security vulnerabilities. Responsibilities may also include securing networks and any off-site backup storage.
Most of these positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but MBAs or specialized master’s degrees will serve better. Would honing your skills and education pay off? We see the IT field expanding rapidly, and the need for qualified experts is poised for growth.