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.

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  • #

    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.

  • subscription management

    Subscription management is the process of overseeing and controlling all aspects of products and services sold repeatedly through a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription-based pricing model.

  • workflow management

    Workflow management is the discipline of creating, documenting, monitoring and improving upon the series of steps, or workflow, that is required to complete a specific task.

  • 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 that breaks them down into smaller cycles called sprints, or iterations.

  • 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.

  • Apple iMessage (Apple instant message)

    Apple iMessage (Apple instant message) is an instant messenger service developed by Apple Inc. that allows users to send texts, documents, photos, videos, locations, contact information and group messages over Wi-Fi, 3G or LTE networks to other iOS or OS X users.

  • 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 is a management style in which an individual has total control over making decisions for a group or organization, with little or no input from his or her subordinates.

  • 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.

  • bring your own cloud (BYOC)

    BYOC is a movement whereby employees and departments use their cloud computing service of choice in the workplace. Allowing employees to use a public cloud storage service to share very large files may be more cost-effective than rolling out a shared storage system internally.

  • 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 non-profit organization that exists to promote the standardization of common business processes, as a means of furthering e-business and B2B development.

  • business process management software

    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 Modeling 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 the related tasks required to obtain a specific business outcome are radically redesigned.

  • 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 service management (BSM)

    Business service management (BSM) is an approach to overseeing information technology that emphasizes treating IT offerings as part of the larger enterprise strategy, and provisioning IT resources based on an understanding of the business' most pressing needs.

  • business services

    Business services is a general term that describes work that supports a business but does not produce a tangible commodity. 

  • business technology (BT)

    Business technology (BT) is a term that points specifically to the technology used by businesses to treat information.

  • 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? An in-depth BPM guide

    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 systematic approach to making adjustments to the application of a set of tools, processes or skills during a project or initiative.

  • change request

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

  • chief architect (chief IT architect)

    In information technology (IT), a chief architect is a c-level executive whose job is to look closely at how IT functions can be centralized so that departments across the company can work together seamlessly.

  • 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 (CDO)

    A chief digital officer (CDO) is charged with helping an enterprise use digital information and advanced technologies to create business value.

  • 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.

  • CMO (chief marketing officer)

    A CMO (chief marketing officer) is a C-level corporate executive responsible for activities in an organization that have to do with creating, communicating and delivering offerings that have value for customers, clients or business partners.

  • COBIT 5

    COBIT 5 is the fifth iteration of a popular framework that's used for managing and governing information technology (IT).

  • 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 in order 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 is the prospect of financial loss to an organization that is caused by the actions of an organization's administrators and employees.

  • consumer data

    Consumer data is the information trail customers leave behind as a result of their Internet use.

  • 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 is an umbrella term used to describe voluntary corporate initiatives concerned with community development, the environment and human rights. 

  • 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.

  • cultural fit

    Cultural fit is the likelihood that a job candidate will be able to conform and adapt to the core values and collective behaviors that make up an organization.

  • cutting edge

    Cutting edge is an adjective used to describe the newest, most advanced version of a product or service. The phrase cutting edge has a positive connotation and can be contrasted with the phrase bleeding edge, which has a negative connotation. Bleeding edge implies that a product or service is so new that its adoption could be harmful. 

  • 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 complex data analyses into layman's terms in order to influence a decision or action.

  • 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 is a role within some organizations that generally has responsibility for overseeing day-to-day IT operations. The role is more prevalent in the public sector than in the private sector and often can lead to a CIO position.

  • device ID (device identification)

    A device ID (device identification) is a distinctive number associated with a smartphone or similar handheld device.

  • 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 is the worldwide network of economic activities, commercial transactions and professional interactions that are enabled by information and communications technologies.

  • digital ecosystem

    A digital ecosystem is a group of interconnected information technology resources that can function as a unit. In order for an ecosystem to operate efficiently, all components must be compatible.

  • digital enterprise

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

  • digital labor

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

  • digital leadership

    Digital leaders work in much the same way as a chief financial officer (CFO), a director of human resources or a chief operations officer (COO) works; they need to assure interested parties that the assets for which they are responsible maintain maximum value.

  • 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.

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