From Data Breaches To Discrepancies In IT Department: CIOs Aren’t Sacrosanct

Over the years, the roles and functions of CIOs (Chief Information Officers) have changed and evolved in the organisations globally. But one key ethical aspect of CIO’s job that has remained unchanged and even is “accountability”. Whether it is CIO Beth Jacob’s resignation post the massive data breach at US-based retail giant Target in 2013 or last week’s sacking of Axis Bank CIO Amit Sethi due to whistle bowler’s complaint against IT department’s discrepancies – it’s all about CIO’s accountability.

But Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst, Founder & CEO -Greyhound Research, however, disagrees with the idea of scrutinising Axis Bank’s IT Strategy Committee and its members.

“Committee’s role is of strategic and sounding one to the board, to help the bank in preparing the IT strategy and making changes as per bank’s business needs,” says Gogia.

Even if there’s IT committee, according to Gogia, ultimately, the CIO is the final authority and signatory for IT deals with the organisation and he or she is responsible for IT department’s daily functioning and not any committee.

This means, the management whether it be the bank or any other organisation, it has every right to take action against the CIO in case of any irregularities whether it’s poor work performance or unethical practices that violate the code of conduct as well as compliance and governance policies.

The Axis Bank CIO case is no less than a case study in itself. But it doesn’t end there because this particular case is likely to have a huge impact on the roles and functions of CIOs in companies across industries in near future.

“IT already is facing an existential challenge and cases like this (Axis Bank CIO) further put pressure on the IT departments. Given this, CIOs will be asked to report to more members of the board and there will be more scrutiny of IT deals with the organisations along with the CIOs,” says Gogia.

“CIOs already have issues reporting to CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) and probably this particular case will demand more reporting from the CIOs going ahead,” notes Gogia.

[Economic Times]

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