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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  • C

    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 products

    A data product is digital information that can be purchased. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Dossia

    Dossia is a Web-based framework for storing and managing personal health records (PHR). With Dossia, a qualified individual can aggregate his medical data from insurance claims and pharmacy records and store them in a private, encrypted electronic health record that can be securely accessed over the Internet.

  • 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-form (electronic form)

    An e-form (electronic form) is a computer program version of a paper form.

  • 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.

  • e-tailing (electronic retailing)

    E-tailing (less frequently: etailing) is the selling of retail goods on the Internet.

  • 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.

  • embedded IT

    Embedded IT is the process of inserting information technology staff and expertise into other business units in order to quickly and more effectively identify and pursue new business opportunities and increase the likelihood that IT projects are deployed successfully.

  • emotional intelligence (EI)

    Emotional intelligence (EI) is the area of cognitive ability that facilitates interpersonal behavior. The term was popularized in 1995 by psychologist and behavioral scientist Dr. Daniel Goleman. According to Goleman, emotional intelligence is the largest single predictor of success in the workplace.

  • employee assistance program (EAP)

    An employee assistance program (EAP) is an arrangement between a corporation, academic institution or government agency and its employees that provides a variety of support programs for the employees... (Continued)

  • 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 an organization.

  • enterprise data hub

    An enterprise data hub, also referred to as a data lake, is a new big data management model for big data that utilizes Hadoop as the central data repository.

  • 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 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.

  • Event log management software (ELMS)

    Event log management software (ELMS) is an application used to monitor change management and prepare for compliance audits at enterprises.

  • event log manager (ELM)

    An event log manager (ELM) is an application that tracks changes in an organization's IT infrastructure.

  • 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.

  • extended enterprise

    Extended enterprise is the concept that a company does not operate in isolation because its success is dependent upon a network of partner relationships.

  • 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.

  • FASAB (Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board)

    The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) is an advisory committee that develops accounting standards for U.S. government agencies.

  • feature creep

    Feature creep (sometimes known as requirements creep or scope creep) is a tendency for product or project requirements to increase during development beyond those originally foreseen, leading to features that weren't originally planned and resulting risk to product quality or schedule.

  • 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.

  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is an independent regulator securities firms doing business in the United States. Securities are financial instruments, such as stocks or bonds, that can be traded freely on the open market. 

  • FMEA (failure mode and effective analysis)

    FMEA (failure mode and effective 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.  

  • FPCA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act)

    The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a federal U.S. law aimed at preventing the bribery of foreign government officials in an effort to obtain or retain business.

  • 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.

  • glocalization

    Glocalization is the concept that in a global market, a product or service is more likely to succeed when it is customized for the locality or culture in which it is sold. For example, the international fast food chain McDonalds illustrates the concept of glocalization by changing their menus to appeal to local palates and customs.

  • 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.

  • great recession (Great Recession)

    Great recession is a label used by journalists and  economists to describe a severe, prolonged economic downturn.

  • green IT (green information technology)

    Green IT (green information technology) is the practice of 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.

  • Honey Encryption

    Honey Encryption is a security tool that makes it difficult for an attacker who is carrying out a brute force attack to know if he has correctly guessed a password or encryption key.

  • human-centric BPM

    Human-centric business process management is an approach to BPM  that considers human skills and activities first and uses automated functions to support them. Most BPM suites include human-centric BPM features.

  • hurdle rate

    A hurdle rate is the required rate of return above which an investment makes sense and below which it does not.

  • 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.

  • ideation management

    Ideation management refers to creating, gathering, analyzing, disseminating and executing on idea generation within the enterprise.

  • incremental innovation

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

  • incubator

    In the business world, an incubator is an enterprise that is set up to provide office space, equipment, and sometimes mentoring assistance and capital to new businesses that are just getting started.

  • infonomics

    Infonomics is a social science that involves studying the production and consumption of information and the transfer of money to produce, sell or obtain it. Simply put, infonomics is the economics of information.

  • 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.

  • infrastructure management (IM)

    For an organization's information technology, infrastructure management (IM) is the management of essential operation components, such as policies, processes, equipment, data, human resources, and external contacts, for overall effectiveness.

  • 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 management software

    Innovation management software, a subset of enterprise collaboration software, helps company digitally manage the generation, collection and evaluation and launch of new ideas from internal employees and external sources.

  • 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.

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