CIO Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing CIO strategy and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • #

    99.999 (Five nines or Five 9s)

    In computers, 99.999 (often called "five 9s") refers to a desired percentage of availability of a given computer system.

  • A

    Adobe Flash Player

    Adobe Flash Player is software used to stream and view video, audio, multimedia and Rich Internet Applications on a computer or supported mobile device.

  • Agile Manifesto

    The Agile Manifesto is a document that identifies four key values and 12 principles that its authors believe software developers should use to guide their work.

  • Agile project management (APM)

    Agile project management (APM) is an iterative approach to planning and guiding project processes.

  • agreed-upon procedures (AUP)

    Agreed-upon procedures are the standards a company or client outlines when it hires an external party to perform an audit on specific tests or business process and then report on the results.

  • artificial neuron

    An artificial neuron is a connection point in an artificial neural network. Artificial neural networks, like the human body's biological neural network, have a layered architecture and each network node (connection point) has the capability to process input and forward output to other nodes in the network.

  • atom

    An atom is a particle of matter that uniquely defines a chemical element.

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate that an organization is in conformance with compliance regulations.

  • authentic leadership

    Authentic leadership is a type of management style in which people act in a real, genuine and sincere way that is true to who they are as individuals.

  • authoritarian leadership

    Authoritarian leadership, also known as autocratic leadership, is a management style where an individual possesses total decision-making power and retains as much authority as possible, often requiring followers to strictly adhere to their directives without much freedom or participation.

  • B

    B2B (business-to-business)

    B2B (business-to-business), a type of electronic commerce (e-commerce), is the exchange of products, services or information between businesses, rather than between businesses and consumers (B2C).

  • balanced scorecard

    The balance scorecard (BSC) is a management system aimed at translating an organization's strategic goals into a set of organizational performance objectives that, in turn, are measured, monitored, and changed if necessary to ensure that an organizations strategic goals are met.

  • benchmark

    A benchmark is a standard or point of reference people can use to measure something else.

  • big data as a service (BDaaS)

    Big data as a service (BDaaS) is the delivery of data platforms and tools by a cloud provider to help organizations process, manage and analyze large data sets so they can generate insights in order to improve business operations and gain a competitive advantage.

  • bimodal IT (bimodal information technology)

    Bimodal IT is a two-tiered IT operations model that allows for the creation of IT systems and processes that are stable and predictable as well as agile and fast.

  • blockchain

    Blockchain is a record-keeping technology designed to make it impossible to hack the system or forge the data stored on it, thereby making it secure and immutable.

  • blockchain decentralization

    Decentralization is the distribution of functions, control and information instead of being centralized in a single entity.

  • business continuity management (BCM)

    Business continuity management (BCM) is a framework for identifying an organization's risk of exposure to internal and external threats.

  • business goals

    A business goal is an endpoint, accomplishment or target an organization wants to achieve in the short term or long term.

  • business innovation

    Business innovation is an organization's process for introducing new ideas, workflows, methodologies, services or products.

  • business integration

    Business integration is a strategy whose goal is to synchronize IT and business cultures and objectives and align technology with business strategy and goals.

  • business process

    A business process is an activity or set of activities that accomplish a specific organizational goal. Business processes should have purposeful goals, be as specific as possible and produce consistent outcomes.

  • business process automation (BPA)

    Business process automation (BPA) is the use of advanced technology to complete business processes with minimal human intervention.

  • business process improvement (BPI)

    Business process improvement (BPI) is a practice in which enterprise leaders analyze their business processes to identify areas where they can improve accuracy, effectiveness and efficiency and then make changes within the processes to realize these improvements.

  • Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI)

    Established in August 2000, the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI) is a nonprofit organization that promotes the standardization of common business processes, as a means of furthering e-business and B2B development. It has since merged with the Object Management Group (OMG).

  • business process management software (BPMS)

    Business process management software (BPMS) helps companies design, model, execute, automate and improve a set of activities and tasks that, when completed, achieve an organizational goal.

  • business process mapping

    Business process mapping is the visual display of the steps within a business process showing how it's done from start to finish.

  • Business Process Model Notation (BPMN)

    Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), also called Business Process Model and Notation, is an open standard to diagram a business process.

  • business process outsourcing (BPO)

    Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a business practice in which an organization contracts with an external service provider to perform an essential business function or task.

  • business process reengineering (BPR)

    Business process reengineering (BPR) is a management practice in which business processes used are radically redesigned to improve efficiency, effectiveness and performance.

  • business resilience

    Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people, assets and overall brand equity.

  • business services

    Business services refer to all services that support a company.

  • business transformation

    Business transformation is a term used to describe what happens when a company makes fundamental changes to how it operates.

  • What is business process management? A guide to BPM

    Business process management (BPM) is a structured approach to improving the processes organizations use to get work done, serve their customers and generate business value.

  • C

    C-Level (C-Suite)

    C-level, also called the C-suite, is a term used to describe high-ranking executive titles in an organization.

  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

    The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is legislation in the state of California that supports an individual's right to control their own personally identifiable information (PII).

  • CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

    The chief executive officer (CEO) is the top position in an organization and responsible for implementing existing plans and policies, improving the company's financial strength, supporting ongoing digital business transformation and setting future strategy.

  • CFO (Chief Financial Officer)

    CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is the corporate title for the person responsible for managing the company's financial operations and strategy.

  • change agent (agent of change)

    A change agent, or agent of change, is someone who promotes and enables change to happen within any group or organization.

  • change management

    Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes or technologies.

  • change management strategy

    A change management strategy is a plan for or systematic approach to dealing with a transition or transformation in an organization.

  • change request

    A change request is a formal proposal for an alteration to some product or system.

  • chief data officer (CDO)

    A chief data officer (CDO) in many organizations is a C-level executive whose position has evolved into a range of strategic data management responsibilities related to the business to derive maximum value from the data available to the enterprise.

  • chief digital officer

    A chief digital officer (CDO) is charged with helping an enterprise use digital information and advanced technologies, such as the cloud, AI, machine learning, automation, IoT, mobile and social media, to create business value.

  • chief marketing officer (CMO)

    A chief marketing officer (CMO) is a C-suite executive responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of an organization's marketing and advertising initiatives.

  • chief operating officer (COO)

    A chief operating officer (COO) is the corporate executive who oversees ongoing business operations within the company.

  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    The chief procurement officer, or CPO, leads an organization's procurement department and oversees the acquisitions of goods and services made by the organization.

  • Chief Strategy Officer (CSO)

    A chief strategy officer (CSO), or chief strategist, is an executive charged with helping formulate, facilitate and communicate the overarching strategy of an organization, usually a large corporation.

  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

    The chief technology officer (CTO) is the individual within an organization who oversees the current technology and creates relevant policy.

  • chief transformation officer (CTO)

    Chief transformation officer is an executive role, often in the C-suite, that focuses on bringing about change as well as growth in revenue and profit to an organization.

  • chief trust officer

    A chief trust officer in the IT industry is an executive job title given to the person responsible for building confidence around the use of customer information.

  • CIO (Chief Information Officer)

    A chief information officer (CIO) is the corporate executive in charge of information technology (IT) strategy and implementation.

  • CKO (chief knowledge officer)

    Chief knowledge officer (CKO) is a corporate title for the person responsible overseeing knowledge management within an organization.

  • cognitive automation

    Cognitive automation describes diverse ways of combining artificial intelligence (AI) and process automation capabilities to improve business outcomes.

  • competitive advantage

    Competitive advantage is the favorable position an organization seeks to be more profitable than its rivals.

  • competitive differentiation

    Competitive differentiation is a strategic positioning tactic an organization can undertake to set its products, services and brands apart from those of its competitors.

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • compliance framework

    A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with established regulations, specifications or legislation.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting from its failure to act in accordance with industry laws and regulations, internal policies or prescribed best practices.

  • conduct risk

    Conduct risk refers to the potential for a company's actions or behavior to harm its customers, stakeholders or broader market integrity.

  • conflict-free replicated data type (CRDT)

    A conflict-free replicated data type (CRDT) is a data structure that lets multiple people or applications make changes to the same piece of data.

  • consumer data

    Consumer data is the information that organizations collect from individuals who use internet-connected platforms, including websites, social media networks, mobile apps, text messaging apps or email systems.

  • contingent workforce

    A contingent workforce is a labor pool whose members are hired by an organization on an on-demand basis.

  • control framework

    A control framework is a data structure that organizes and categorizes an organization’s internal controls, which are practices and procedures established to create business value and minimize risk.

  • coopetition (co-opetition)

    Coopetition is a business strategy that uses insights gained from game theory to understand when it is better for competitors to work together.

  • COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act )

    The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) is a federal law that imposes specific requirements on operators of websites and online services to protect the privacy of children under 13.

  • core competency (core competencies)

    For any organization, its core competency refers to the capabilities, knowledge, skills and resources that constitute its 'defining strength.'

  • corporate social responsibility (CSR)

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategy undertaken by companies to not just grow profits, but also to take an active and positive social role in the world around them. The term is also associated with the related term corporate citizenship.

  • corportal (corporate portal)

    Corportals, short for corporate portals, are sometimes referred to as enterprise information portals and are used by corporations to build their internal web presence by leveraging a company's information resources.

  • COSO Framework

    The COSO Framework is a system used to establish internal controls to be integrated into business processes.

  • cross-functional team

    A cross-functional team is a workgroup made up of employees from different functional areas within an organization who collaborate to reach a stated objective.

  • crowdsourcing

    Crowdsourcing is the practice of turning to a body of people to obtain needed knowledge, goods or services.

  • CVO (Chief Visionary Officer)

    The Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) is a newer title where the holder is expected to have a broad and comprehensive knowledge of all matters related to the business of the organization, as well as the vision required to steer its course into the future.

  • D

    data collection

    Data collection is the process of gathering data for use in business decision-making, strategic planning, research and other purposes.

  • data governance policy

    A data governance policy is a documented set of guidelines for ensuring that an organization's data and information assets are managed consistently and used properly.

  • data latency

    Data latency is the time it takes for data packets to be stored or retrieved. In business intelligence (BI), data latency is how long it takes for a business user to retrieve source data from a data warehouse or BI dashboard.

  • data monetization

    Data monetization is the act of measuring the economic benefit of corporate data.

  • data privacy (information privacy)

    Data privacy, also called information privacy, is an aspect of data protection that addresses the proper storage, access, retention, immutability and security of sensitive data.

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, procedures or technologies affect individuals' privacy and eliminate any risks that might violate compliance.

  • data storytelling

    Data storytelling is the process of translating data analyses into understandable terms in order to influence a business decision or action.

  • decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)

    A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is a management structure that uses blockchain technology to automate some aspects of voting and transaction processing.

  • decision support system (DSS)

    A decision support system (DSS) is a computer program application used to improve a company's decision-making capabilities.

  • demand shaping

    Demand shaping is an operational supply chain management (SCM) strategy where a company uses tactics such as price incentives, cost modifications and product substitutions to entice customers to purchase specific items.

  • deputy CIO (deputy chief information officer)

    Deputy CIO (chief information officer) is a role within some organizations that generally has responsibility for overseeing day-to-day information technology (IT) operations.

  • device ID (device identification)

    A device ID (device identification) is an anonymous string of numbers and letters that uniquely identifies a mobile device such as a smartphone, tablet or smartwatch.

  • digital culture

    Digital culture refers to the behaviors, practices and values that develop from the use of digital technologies.

  • digital disruption

    Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.

  • digital economy

    The digital economy refers to the economic activities that emerge from connecting individuals, businesses, devices, data and operations through digital technology.

  • digital ecosystem

    A digital ecosystem is a group of interconnected information technology resources that can function as a unit.

  • digital enterprise

    A digital enterprise is an organization that uses technology as a competitive advantage in its internal and external operations.

  • digital innovation

    Digital innovation is the adoption of modern digital technologies by a business.

  • digital labor

    Digital labor is work that is performed by robotic process automation (RPA) systems.

  • digital leadership

    Digital leadership is the strategic use of a company's digital assets and emerging technologies to achieve business goals. A digital leader is a person who guides this digital approach within an organization.

  • digital platform

    A digital platform is a web-based structural software package that speeds and eases transactions among users.

  • digital process automation

    Digital process automation (DPA) uses low-code development tools to automate processes that can span multiple applications.

  • digital strategy (digital media strategy)

    A digital strategy is a blueprint for managing customer-facing information technology (IT) initiatives. It requires marketing and IT to work together closely.

  • disruptive innovation

    Disruptive innovation is the idea that when a product or service is introduced into an established industry and performs better and/or costs less than existing offerings, it can displace the market leaders and even transform the industry.

  • distributed ledger technology (DLT)

    Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a digital system for recording the transaction of assets in which the transactions and their details are recorded in multiple places at the same time.

  • Dodd-Frank Act

    The Dodd-Frank Act (fully known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) is a United States federal law that places regulation of the financial industry in the hands of the government.

  • dot-com bubble

    The dot-com bubble, also referred to as the Internet bubble, refers to the period between 1995 and 2000 when investors pumped money into Internet-based startups in the hopes that these fledgling companies would soon turn a profit.

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