by CIO Staff

Immigration CIO Embraces Changing Role

Mar 10, 20062 mins

On Thursday, Tarrazzia Martin, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) chief information officer, told a trade show audience that the role of the CIO has morphed, and in order to succeed executives must embrace the change and accept the responsibilities that come along with it, Federal Computer Week (FCW) reports.

The USCIS is an arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Martin said the general view of CIOs in the past was mostly as managers of help desk functions, but that has changed and today CIOs are the main keepers of information, responsible for managing and sharing data, FCW reports.

The USCIS created its enterprise architecture based on information sharing, Martin said, and its search engine is considered one of its most valuable tools, according to FCW.

Martin told the trade show audience that in order to embrace the evolving CIO role, these executives need to make technology decisions that correspond with their customers’ business goals, FCW reports.

“IT for IT’s sake is not the way to go,” she said.  “If you don’t have qualified project managers, it doesn’t matter what tools you have.”

Information executives also need to have a firm understanding of how their organization’s processes, policies, people and systems all fit together when organizing an infrastructure, Martin said, according to FCW.

Martin stressed the importance of the CEO/CIO relationship as well, FCW reports.

“CIOs must have CEOs in their corner,” she said, noting that both she and DHS’ CIO Scott Charbo are supported by their managers, according to FCW.

The USCIS is currently working with DHS to create a service-oriented architecture for increased flexibility and availability in information sharing, FCW reports.

For related CIO content, read The Changing Role of the CIO.

For related news coverage, read Fed. CIO Survey: IT Security #1 Concern.

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