When looking for a sponsor for an MDM initiative the generally accepted  consensus is that you have to get a business sponsor and you need to get the business actively engaged.  Now I’m not going to argue against that but I am going to pose a question.

Why isn’t the CIO being a CIO?

The “I” is meant to stand for “Information” and the point of the title is that the CIO is the person accountable for the information in the organisation.  So why aren’t many CIOs actually CIOs who are empowered and able to take control of the organisations information and institute the sorts of changes that are required.

To compare the CIO with the CFO for a moment we see that the CFO is normally very much in control of finance and lays down practices that the rest of the business must comply with.  The CIO however deals just with the IT systems and has little, or no, ability to actually be the Chief Information Officer.  So what does this mean and where should the CIO actually start being the CIO?

Simply put the CIO needs to start with the first point of information on the information value chain: Master Data.  It is here that the CIO can actually start down the path of living up to the title and not being relegated simply to dealing with the every diminishing number of internal IT issues.  This means that the CIO needs to start thinking less like a provider of internal IT and more like the provider of business information to the enterprise.

A CIO without an MDM strategy is a CIO who doesn’t want to be business relevant.