31 Oct, 2017

The Role Of The Public Sector CIO vs. The Private Sector CIO


The role of the CIO is complex and important for the infrastructure of an enterprise looking to combat and address cybersecurity issues. It can be broken down based on different priorities and can be placed into two different job titles: private CIOs and public sector CIOs.

The role of the private CIO vs. the public sector CIO deals with different types of issues. The public sector works for government agencies, and private sector CIOs deal with enterprises, both have different priorities and shift their resources depending on these priorities.

Public Sector CIO

The role of the public sector CIO deals with variations of government like federal, state and local authority. They play crucial roles in integrating services like the cloud, and cybersecurity, which as you can imagine, is a priority for government officials since classified information is dealt with daily.

“Unless you’re a government CIO or work directly with one, you probably don’t realize how much this position can differ from a CIO position in the private sector. A government CIO role can be very satisfying, but it definitely has its own challenges.” TechRepublic reports.

While discussing federal, state and local government as a whole, it is important to keep in mind that each one of these roles will bring on different challenges for the CIO. Each branch has different leaders and different priorities. The one thing that each CIO has in common in the public sector is that their title involves technology, and managing every aspect of integrating security efforts to protect valuable data and to fight against cybercrime.

If you are working in the public sector, your boss is an elected official who has strategic tasks that need to be carried out. This also means that depending on the election cycle, your boss will change depending on what the polls reveal. Although CIOs most likely report to a chief CFO, you also work hand in hand with the elected official who is the boss of all operations.

Since you are working for a public official, there comes a different set of rules that employees must follow. This can affect things like ordering new equipment, hiring new talent, or carrying out everyday tasks.

The challenges that public sector CIOs are pretty much the same as private sector CIOs face. These include cybersecurity threats, IT modernization, and IT innovation.

Private Sector CIO

Private Sector CIOs have a bit more flexibility when it comes to integrating different cybersecurity business functions.They help drive enterprises toward the safety net of cybersecurity and have goals in mind that have to do with protecting important data, much like public sector CIOs.

“Private sector CIO agendas include autonomous AI, 3D printing, machine learning, drones, blockchain and the Internet of Things. They’re full of big disruptors that promise to transform not only how we work but how we live:  what we eat, what we wear, how we interact, where we go, and how we get there. They conjure up a virtual-reality world that inspires both fear and delight.MicroPact reports.

The chief information officer in a private sector is in charge of overseeing administration throughout business operations, making strategic business decisions. Their worries can match the worries of a public sector CIO, as both professional roles are concerned with protecting and fighting against data breaches, cybercrime, and hacking.

Private sector CIOs deal with moving the entire enterprise toward digital transformation tools that will help make their job easier, like cloud computing, and data delivery, driven by analytics, all while following government-driven regulations regarding digital components.

The role of the CIO is complex, important and crucial for the safety of enterprises protecting themselves against the threat. Whether you are in a public or private position, CIOs are a necessary component.


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