IT Return on Investment Discussion Paper

Role of the CIO

Organizations are hierarchical establishments where a varying number of C-level (chief) executives, such as the Chief Executive Officer [CEO], the Chief Financial Officer [CFO], the Chief Operating Officer [COO], and the Chief Information Officer [CIO] act as the strategic heads of the organization’s internal sectors, providing organization-wide perspective and impact. The CIO, in particular, is “responsible for the management, implementation, and usability of information and computer technologies” (Kenton, 2020, para.1). In other words, the CIO acts as the strategic leader of the IT or IS department, who “analyzes how various technologies benefit the company or improve an existing business process and then integrates a system to realize that benefit or improvement” (Kenton, 2020, para.1).

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The initial introduction of the CIO role was in “late 1950s when businesses [first] began to incorporate computing into business operations” (Rouse & Pratt, 2019, para.4). From this time and up until the early1980s, much of the role’s responsibility was limited to technical work such as mainframe computer maintenance (Rouse & Pratt, 2019). The shift in CIO responsibility from system implementation to strategic technology use began in the 1990s when the internet began its swift, meteoric rise and IT professionals saw how the internet could be leveraged for business growth and improvement (Rouse & Pratt, 2019). Today, as mentioned previously, CIOs focus on developing a strategic vision that unites business and technology into one, seamless organism where each aspect can support and enable the growth and prosperity of the other.

In the quickly changing, technologically-based age in which we live, CIOs must stay at the cutting-edge of technology, developing strategies that use both” existing and emerging technologies to transform the organization into an increasingly digital one” (Rouse & Pratt, 2019, para.9). This role is so important to an organization because businesses and individuals, alike, have become heavily reliant on technology, expecting it to be easy-to-use, engaging, versatile, quick, and cheap (Rouse & Pratt, 2019). In other words, the ability to meet the demands of the user (internal and external) and stay competitive, from a technological perspective, has become paramount to business innovation, success, and longevity. Finally, quickly adapting and leveraging new emergences, whether they be social media/collaboration, cloud computing, mobile formatting, data analytics, AI, or IoT (Rouse & Pratt, 2019), to create business value are, or will be, major considerations for CIOs now and in the near future.

In summation, CIOs work at the C-level to bridge the gap between business and technology, aligning the technological strategy with the business strategy, so that the organization can maintain or gain a competitive advantage. They use strategic planning, research, and other related skills to improve or change internal processes, implement new systems, and otherwise introduce modern technology solutions that will benefit the business – internally and/or externally. This work never lulls, especially during an era when new technologies are introduced constantly and consumers are always at the forefront of the movement.

Relation this Course

While the organization in the case study does not necessarily need to hire a CIO to accomplish its goals, it would benefit by thinking like one, or having the PM team think like one. It is clear that some modern technology has been added (e.g. Google Drive), which has been beneficial, but it seems as though it is not being leveraged strongly, particularly in consideration to the recent expansion. The organization in the case study should be looking towards how it can further implement existing technologies to join the two disparate locations, streamline internal and cross-organizational processes, and increase its customer base. By thinking strategically from both technological currency and business growth perspectives, as a CIO does, the organization in the case study has great potential to gain a competitive advantage.


How will the role of CIO continue to evolve as technology advances and businesses adopt a more tech-centric outlook?
What competencies or skills do/should CIOs have in order to successfully accomplish the responsibilities of their role?
How can CIOs foster innovation within organizations where limiting factors such as budget, buy-in, and resource availability can be highly prevalent?

Kenton, W. (February 3, 2020). Chief information officer (CIO). Retrieved May 22, 2020 from

Rouse, M. & Pratt, M. (Cont.). (November 2019). CIO (chief information officer). Retrieved May 22, 2020 from



3.)Digital Currency

Digital currency is a currency that is only available in digital or electronic form but not in a physical form. Digital currency, including electronic, virtual, and cryptocurrencies, is a relatively new form of money being used in global economies.

Currency has evolved from exchanging an actual asset to exchanging physical tokens, which represent a certain value but have little to do with any underlying asset. Electronic commerce represents another step in the evolution of this ever-changing system.

Digital currency can be divide into three categories: electronic, virtual, and cryptocurrencies. Credit and debit cards are the most common mechanisms of electronic currency. Credit cards give consumers predetermined limits on credit. Debit card transactions are simple — they imitate writing a check; the transacted funds are registered at a financial institution and moved electronically from one institution to another under central agreement.

Digital currencies developed as a result of the internet’s social existence. This type of currency closely resembles the barter, in that there is a value agreement within the community. Unlike all other forms of currency exchange, there is no legal tender for the virtual currency. It cannot be exchanged for money provided by governments. It is essentially a type of coupon exchange.

Cryptocurrency is the last type of digital money and the one with the most current news attention. Cryptocurrency is a type of electronic currency which a central bank does not issue. Bitcoin is the best-known and most widely traded cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency creates a blockchain using a peer-to-peer network. A blockchain is a final digital ledger for a crypto-currency transaction after authentication and blocking of the transaction. A standard transaction in cryptocurrency starts with the request for a transaction. This may be an arrangement or a contract to pass cryptocurrencies from one account to another. The transaction enters a peer-to-peer network called a node that uses specified algorithms to verify the request ‘s authenticity. After the transaction is confirmed, it is clustered into a group of transactions called a block. A larger component, the blockchain, is then added to the block, which records the transaction. At this stage, the transaction is unchangeable, as it is considered completed.

What is the downside of digital currency?

Will the role of the traditional financial system decline due to the development of digital currency?

Will digital payment system built on the blockchain require smartphones for effective diffusion and adoption by low-income people?

Will cryptocurrencies end up supplanting all national currencies?


4.)Telepresence McPherson


We have all seen a movie where the president talks to generals over a video teleconference center about a disaster, or superheroes like the Black Panther talk to a digital version of the person on the other side of the conversation through a hologram (Marvel Studios, 2018). This is called telepresence, or a form of technology in which a person can be “present” in another environment without being there (Lasky J,2019. Telepresence is a valuable tool for organizations, consumers, educators, scientist and more.

In Black Panther, the hologram projector technology has been …(Marvel Studios, 2018)

Telepresence is used in many facets of our lives currently, and is growing into more every day. Robotics can be used in a telepresence sense in that an operator can safely “be” in a dangerous environment from a safe distance by using the robot to do a job that the operator controls. Today we use telepresence to work from home during a pandemic, accessing databases at our physical location, and having video conferences with our colleagues. My job currently is to deploy video teleconference centers worldwide for the US government so that decision makers can have video conferences and share information presentations in order to ensure there is no lack of communication between organizations. The President of the United States has video teleconference capability wherever he goes to ensure that he is able to better communicate with people inside and outside of our government.

There are many cases of advanced technology in movies inspiring and becoming reality, and another reference can be made to Black Panther for showing us (Gibbs, 2015). A scene ( in the movie shows the use of a table top telepresence device where the super hero is able to “see” what is happening on the ground before a raid on bad guys, and is even able to pick up a replica truck in order to visualize who is inside and where (Marvel Studios, 2018). This is called claytronics, and it is a developing form of telepresence that creates 3-D representations of people and objects (Plummer, 2007). This technology is already being funded by DARPA in order to give military planners a better view of the battle field, as well as its use in the civilian market for engineering and communication applications (Alba, 2017). As a VTC engineer and installer, I am regularly asked when holograms and claytronics will be available for customers to purchase. One customer reminded us that it was only 20 years ago that he first saw a video teleconference center, and he wouldn’t be surprised to be sitting at a claytronics table in another 20.

This technology could be used by Trusty Carpets to “build” a version of a customer’s home and allow them to see what their house looks like with certain styles of carpet. The installation team could also use this technology to precut sections of carpets for a more efficient installation process.

Do you see telepresence as an important technological tool in society? Why or why not?

Do you see claytronics as an important technological tools, or an expensive and unnecessary toy?

How, if at all, does telepresence effect your daily life?

Would you feel the same connection talking to a life-size claytronics version of a friend or loved one as you would if they were physically there?

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