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.

  • D

    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 introduction of a product or service into an established industry that performs better and, generally, at a lower cost than existing offerings, thereby displacing the market leaders in that particular market space and transforming 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.

  • What is digital transformation?

    Digital transformation is the incorporation of computer-based technologies into an organization's products, processes and strategies.

  • E

    e-business (electronic business)

    E-business (electronic business) is the conduct of business processes on the internet.

  • e-commerce

    E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet.

  • e-procurement (supplier exchange)

    Electronic procurement, also known as e-procurement or supplier exchange, is the process of requisitioning, ordering and purchasing goods and services online.

  • ebXML (Electronic Business XML)

    EbXML (Electronic Business XML or e-business XML) is a project to use the Extensible Markup Language (XML) to standardize the secure exchange of business data.

  • EDRM (electronic discovery reference model)

    The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a framework that outlines standards for the recovery and discovery and of digital data.

  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)

    The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is a United States federal statute that prohibits a third party from intercepting or disclosing communications without authorization.

  • electronically stored information (ESI)

    Electronically stored information (ESI) is data created, altered, communicated and stored in digital form.

  • emotional intelligence (EI)

    Emotional intelligence (EI) is the area of cognitive ability that facilitates interpersonal behavior.

  • enterprise agility

    Enterprise agility is a paradigm for scaling agile methodologies beyond development teams.

  • enterprise architecture (EA)

    An enterprise architecture (EA) is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of organizations.

  • enterprise IT (enterprise-class IT)

    Enterprise IT, also known as enterprise-class IT, is hardware and software designed to meet the demands of a large organization. In comparison to consumers and small companies, an enterprise has greater requirements for availability, reliability, scalability, performance and security, among other things.

  • enterprise project management office

    An enterprise project management office (EPMO) is a department within an organization charged with setting priorities, standards and goals for the organization's portfolio of projects.

  • enterprise risk management (ERM)

    Enterprise risk management is the process of planning, organizing, directing and controlling the activities of an organization to minimize the deleterious effects of risk on its capital and earnings.

  • entrepreneur (entrepreneurship)

    An entrepreneur is an individual who identifies a need in the marketplace and works to fulfill it.

  • ephemeral messaging

    Ephemeral messaging is the mobile-to-mobile transmission of multimedia messages that automatically disappear from the recipient's screen after the message has been viewed.

  • executive dashboard

    An executive dashboard is a computer interface that displays the key performance indicators (KPIs) that corporate officers need to effectively run an enterprise.

  • executive leadership

    Executive leadership is the ability of an organization's management to guide and motivate employees while meeting organizational goals.

  • F

    Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is United States federal legislation that promotes accuracy, fairness and privacy for data used by consumer reporting agencies.

  • FFIEC compliance (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council)

    FFIEC compliance is conformance to a set of standards for online banking issued in October 2005 by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC)... (Continued)

  • field-level encryption

    Field-level encryption is the ability to encrypt data based on entire fields.

  • FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis)

    FMEA (failure mode and effects analysis) is a step-by-step approach for collecting knowledge about possible points of failure in a design, manufacturing process, product or service.

  • Fortune 500

    The Fortune 500 is Fortune Magazine's annual ranking of the United States' 500 largest corporations. The list is important because it provides the general public with a sense for which companies have the ability to influence the economy in the United States and whether or not those companies are healthy.  

  • FQA (frequently questioned answers)

    FQA (frequently questioned answers) are conventions or mandates scrutinized by individuals or groups who doubt their validity.

  • fractional CIO

    A fractional CIO is a high-level consultant who specializes in aligning information technology (IT) with business goals. Quite simply, a fractional CIO works for a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire a full-time executive to fill the post.

  • FTC (Federal Trade Commission)

    The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is a United States federal regulatory agency designed to monitor and prevent anticompetitive, deceptive or unfair business practices.

  • G

    gap analysis

    A gap analysis is a method of assessing the performance of a business unit to determine whether business requirements or objectives are being met and, if not, what steps should be taken to meet them.

  • Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (the Principles)

    Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles is a framework for managing records in a way that supports an organization's immediate and future regulatory, legal, risk mitigation, environmental and operational requirements.

  • Generation Facebook (Generation F)

    Generation Facebook (Generation F) is a term used to define millennials who have grown up using social media as their primary networking tool.

  • geolocation data

    Geolocation data is information associated with an electronic device that can be used to identify its physical location. The most common example of geolocation data is an IP address.

  • globalization

    Globalization is the process by which ideas, goods and services spread throughout the world.

  • Google Wallet

    Google Wallet is a mobile payment system developed by Google that allows smartphone users to store debit and credit card information for online and in-store purchases.

  • Government Accountability Office (GAO)

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress to investigate how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act or GLBA), also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, is a federal law enacted in the United States to control the ways financial institutions deal with the private information of individuals.

  • green IT (green information technology)

    Green IT (green information technology) is the practice of creating and using environmentally sustainable computing.

  • group think

    Group think (also spelled groupthink) is a phenomenon that occurs when group's need for consensus supersedes the judgment of individual group members.

  • growth potential

    Growth potential is an organization's future ability to generate larger profits, expand its workforce and ramp up its production.

  • H

    hackathon

    A hackathon, also known as a codefest, is a social coding event that brings computer programmers and other interested people together to improve upon or build a new software program.

  • hard skills

    Hard skills are specific abilities, or capabilities, that an individual can possess and demonstrate in a measured way.

  • holistic (holistic technology)

    Holistic (holistic technology) is a concept concerned with treatment of entire systems, rather than the analysis, treatment or segmentation of parts of those systems.

  • hyperautomation

    Hyperautomation is a framework and set of advanced technologies for scaling automation in the enterprise; the ultimate goal of hyperautomation is to develop a process for automating enterprise automation.

  • Hyperledger

    Hyperledger is an open source project created to support the development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers.

  • I

    ICT (information and communications technology, or technologies)

    ICT, or information and communications technology (or technologies), is the infrastructure and components that enable modern computing.

  • incremental innovation

    Incremental innovation is the introduction of small improvements or upgrades to already existing products, services, processes or methods.

  • Information Age

    The Information Age refers to the idea that access to and the control of information is the defining characteristic of this current era in human civilization.

  • Information and Content Exchange (ICE)

    Information and Content Exchange (ICE) is an XML-based standard protocol for electronic business-to-business (B2B) asset management.

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and metrics that treat information as a valuable business asset.

  • information superhighway (infobahn)

    Information superhighway is a term that was used mainly in the 1990s to describe a national communications network that would span the United States and allow Americans to quickly access and exchange information via voice, data, video and other services.

  • information technology (IT) director

    An information technology (IT) director is the person in charge of technology within an organization. IT directors manage technology resources and employees to ensure that IT operations run smoothly.

  • innovation culture

    Innovation culture is an environment that organizations cultivate in order to nurture new, creative thinking and its application.

  • innovation management

    Innovation management is the process of managing an organization's innovation procedure, which helps increase competitive advantage and drives business growth.

  • innovation manager

    An innovation manager fosters the development of new products, services and processes. Innovation managers are skilled in unleashing individual and collective creativity and in implementing structures that help shepherd an innovation from idea stage to fruition.

  • innovation process management (IPM)

    Innovation process management (IPM) a systematic approach to nurturing the creative capabilities of employees and creating a workplace environment that encourages new ideas for workflows, methodologies, services or products.

  • Instagram

    Instagram is a free, online photo-sharing application and social network platform that was acquired by Facebook in 2012.

  • integration server

    An integration server is a type of computer server that facilitates the interaction between different operating systems (OSes), services and applications across an enterprise IT environment.

  • intrapreneur (intrapreneurship)

    Intrapreneurs are employees who use entrepreneurial skills and critical thinking to seek out initiatives that could benefit the organization financially.

  • ISACA

    ISACA is an independent, nonprofit, global association that engages in the development, adoption and use of globally accepted information system (IS) knowledge and practices.

  • IT asset management (ITAM)

    IT asset management (ITAM) is a set of business practices that combines financial, inventory and contractual functions to optimize spending and support lifecycle management and strategic decision-making within the IT environment.

  • IT audit (information technology audit)

    An IT audit is the examination and evaluation of an organization's information technology infrastructure, policies and operations.

  • IT blueprint

    An IT blueprint, like an architectural blueprint, is a planning tool or document an information technology organization establishes in order to guide its priorities, projects, budgets, staffing and other IT strategy-related initiatives.

  • IT budget (information technology budget)

    IT budget encompasses the money spent on information technology systems and services. The IT budget, typically overseen by the CIO, includes compensation for IT professionals and expenses for building and maintaining enterprise-wide systems.

  • IT centralization (information technology centralization)

    IT centralization (information technology centralization) is the act of concentrating an organization's technology resources under a single entity.

  • IT controls

    An IT control is a procedure or policy that provides a reasonable assurance that the information technology (IT) used by an organization operates as intended, that data is reliable and that the organization is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Continued...

  • IT cost structure

    IT cost structure is the relationship of different types of costs within a larger IT budget.

  • IT Governance Institute (ITGI)

    The IT Governance Institute (ITGI) is an arm of ISACA that provides research, publications and resources on IT governance and related topics.

  • IT innovation

    IT (information technology) innovation in an enterprise is about using technology in new ways, where the result is a more efficient organization and an improved alignment between technology initiatives and business goals.

  • IT leadership (information technology leadership)

    IT leadership (information technology leadership) refers to the senior management in an organization responsible for driving business strategy via IT infrastructure and applications.

  • IT organization (information technology organization)

    An IT organization (information technology organization) is the department within an organization charged with establishing, monitoring and maintaining information technology systems and services, and with strategic planning around current and future IT initiatives.

  • IT procurement

    IT procurement is the series of activities and procedures necessary to acquire information technology products or services.

  • IT project management

    Every IT project should begin with two questions: What business problem are we trying to solve? And does everyone agree it's worth the effort to solve it?

  • IT project manager

    An IT project manager is a professional charged with overseeing the process of planning, executing and delegating responsibilities around an organization's information technology (IT) pursuits and goals.

  • IT service catalog

    An IT service catalog is a list of technology resources and offerings available from the IT service provider within an organization.

  • IT skills gap (information technology skills gap)

    In human resource management, an information technology (IT) skills gap is a mismatch between the capabilities an employer needs to meet business objectives and what the organization's employees know and can do.

  • IT strategic plan (information technology strategic plan)

    An IT strategic plan outlines a company's technology-enabled business management processes that it uses to guide operations and prioritize business goals.

  • IT strategist (information technology strategist)

    An IT strategist (information technology strategist) is someone in an organization who is given the responsibility and authority to establish initiatives that affect the organization's IT and business strategy.

  • IT strategy (information technology strategy)

    IT strategy (information technology strategy) is a comprehensive plan that outlines how technology should be used to meet IT and business goals.

  • IT transformation

    IT transformation is a complete reassessment and overhaul of an organization's information technology (IT) systems in order to improve the efficiency and delivery in a digital economy.

  • ITIL v3

    ITIL v3 is the third version of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, a globally recognized collection of best practices for managing information technology (IT).

  • technology addiction (internet addiction)

    Technology addiction (Internet addiction) is an impulse control disorder that involves the obsessive use of mobile devices, the internet or video games despite negative consequences to the user of the technology. The disorder may also be referred to as digital addiction or internet addiction.

  • K

    key risk indicator (KRI)

    A key risk indicator (KRI) is a metric for measuring the likelihood that the combined probability of an event and its consequence will exceed the organization's risk appetite and have a profoundly negative impact on an organization's ability to be successful.

  • knowledge-based systems (KBS)

    A knowledge-based system (KBS) is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that aims to capture the knowledge of human experts to support decision-making.

  • L

    labor arbitrage

    Labor arbitrage is the practice of searching for and then using the lowest-cost workforce to produce products or goods.

  • labor automation

    Labor automation refers to the use of technology to perform specific tasks or jobs traditionally done by humans. As artificial intelligence and machine learning become integral to labor automation, experts believe entire jobs, not just specific tasks, will be automated.

  • leadership

    Leadership is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and guide followers or other members of an organization.

  • leadership skills

    Leadership skills are the strengths and abilities individuals demonstrate that help to oversee processes, guide initiatives and steer their employees toward the achievement of goals.

  • leadership traits

    Leadership traits are the personal qualities that shape effective leaders.

  • lean management

    Lean management is an approach to managing an organization that supports the concept of continuous improvement, a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.

  • Lean Six Sigma

    Lean Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to improving efficiency, customer satisfaction and profits.

  • lean startup

    Lean startup is an approach to building new businesses based on the belief that entrepreneurs must investigate, experiment, test and iterate as they develop products.

  • learning management system (LMS)

    A learning management system (LMS) is a software application or web-based technology used to plan, implement and assess a specific learning process.

  • LOB (line of business)

    An LOB (line-of-business) application is one of the set of critical computer applications that are vital to running an enterprise, such as accounting, supply chain management, and resource planning applications.

  • localization

    Localization (sometimes shortened to "L10n") is the process of adapting a product or service to a particular language, culture and desired local "look-and-feel." The process of first enabling a product to be localized and then localizing it for different national audiences is sometimes known as product globalization.

  • M

    managerial grid model (The Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid model)

    The managerial grid model was developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton in the 1960s to help companies and individuals analyze and improve management styles.

  • metered services (pay-per-use)

    Metered services (also called pay-per-use) are any type of payment structure in which a customer has access to potentially unlimited resources but only pays for what they actually use.

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