Looking Back: The Growth of the CIO Role and IT Value

From green screens to flat screens; from a desk in the basement to a seat in the boardroom. Twenty years in review.

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The Long, Hard Road to Value

Doucette is not alone in his enthusiasm for today’s reality. Sure, CIOs suffered plenty of battle scars, but they’ve also accumulated a wealth of experience, discipline and the maturity that comes from living through times both good and bad. In a sense, IT has done a lot of growing up.


A brief bibliography of CIO’s coverage of key issues

Running IT Like a Business

“What It Means”

And how you can do it.

Value Metrics

“The Metrics Trap”

And how to avoid it.


“An Introduction to ERP”

Getting started.

The Strategic CIO

“Fulfilling the new CIO mandate.”


“Training for Entry-Level Staff”

Three CIOs set up training programs for absolute beginners.

IT and the Business

“Toyota’s Big Fix”

How Toyota’s CIO regained the trust of the business.


“Strategic Alignment”

Attacking integration as an end-to-end process, from supplier to customer.

The CIO Career

“How to Succeed in Business”

The knowledge and leadership skills.

The State of the CIO 2007

All that data.

For Barbra Cooper, Toyota Motor Sales’ Hall of Fame CIO, a dose of turn-of-the-century self-examination proved critical. Years of IT spending at Toyota that seemed to have no ceiling, enterprisewide projects that were out of control and a fractured relationship with the business forced Cooper to do what many CIOs historically have been unable to do. “I like to call it ‘calling the police on yourself,’” she says.

Cooper not only solicited the uncensored opinions of her business colleagues but she actually listened and acted on their often negative perception of IT. She changed. And ultimately she was able to change IT into what it was always supposed to be: a trusted, responsive, fiscally smart and business-first department. “It was one of the more breakthrough things in my career,” says Cooper.

The CIO Story

Over the last 20 years, CIO magazine has been able to profile the journeys of executives such as Cooper and Doucette as they’ve traveled the long, hard road to delivering on IT’s essential value. For Hall of Famer Mott, who has headed up IT at Wal-Mart and Dell, and now at HP, that journey has encompassed the evolution of the CIO role. “The CIO and IT organization have become an integrated part of every process of every company and every industry,” Mott says.

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