The Certified Information Executive Course

A Results Oriented Certification for Strategic and Effective IT Executives

Complete the Entire CIE Certification Course at Your Own Pace

One of the ways you can earn the CIE Certification is by successfully completing each of the ten online training modules. During this activitiy, you will be assigned an experienced executive CIO mentor to coach you through the application of the course material. After the completion of the below listed ten modules, you will need to complete the certification exam. The ten modules are outlined below:

1. Executive Corporate Politics

CIE Course Module 1 - prerequisite to all other modules

What's the difference between a mediocre CIO and a very effective CIO? Often times it is the ability to interact effectively in the political decision processes of the C-level executives of the corporation. Many senior IT people need more development of this skill. You can't really become a good CIO without having an influential seat at the table. This module will teach you how to develop the political skill you will need to be an effective CIO.

Every CIO needs to be well integrated into the political decision processes of the corporation. The more skilled the CIO is in the political decision processes of the company, the more political capital will be accrued to the CIO's account. The more political capital the CIO has, the better will be the CIO's ability to ensure: funding stabilization and increases, allowing the CIO to function in a proactive leadership role to strategically create wealth in the company, gaining the credibility in the eyes of the other CXOs so the CIO can help them accomplish their strategic initiatives, and so much more.

When you sign up for this module, you will be e-mailed an easy-to-read "how-to" text on Executive Corporate Politics. Also as part of the package, there will be several questions you will need to answer, a few short essay questions, and an on-going coaching engagement with one of our consultants that will last the duration of your time enrolled in the CIE online program. The total time you will have to invest to complete this module is typically about 20 hours.

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2. IT Project Justification

CIE Course Module 2

A good CIO must become a master at IT project justification. The difficult part of this process is often the challenge of assigning credible hard-dollar values to the intangible benefits—and to do so in such a way that it does not risk your credibility, but actually increases your political capital. We show you how to do this in this module. In this module, we will also teach you how to build the business case as you link the project to the strategic goals of your company. We also show you how to develop a credible estimate of the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for proposed IT projects—a powerful influence in the eyes of the CFO who holds the purse strings for IT project funding. And we will teach you how to develop and execute a system for getting the most out of post project audits. This is necessary to increase your long term credibility and establish you as a proactive, strategically oriented business champion in your company.

Additionally, this module will require you to apply these lessons to some real-world proposed IT project for your company, and then submit that as a case study to be graded as part of your module grade.

Completion of Module 1 (above) is a prerequisite for this module. You must complete Module 1 before you can sign up for this module. The total time you will have to invest to complete this module is typically about 10 hours plus the time it takes to complete your case study.

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3. IT Alignment

CIE Course Module 3

This module begins by reviewing the historical forces over the past several decades that have evolved the job of the top IT leader in the company from being a technical manager to being a strategic business champion. IT Alignment, if done properly, is the CIOs primary tool for creating strategic wealth in the company. Most CIOs do not properly understand the purpose or process of IT Alignment and could use a little help in better refining their understanding of what it is, what it can do for them, and how to do it. That is the purpose of this module.

The CIO primarily has two tools to assist and guide through the process of strategically building business value (wealth) in the company. The first of these is IT Alignment; the second is IT Governance. To properly understand the focus and agenda of an effective CIO, you need to understand the basics of these two tools. This module teaches you how to do IT Alignment. The next module will teach you about IT Governance.

First of all, it is worth noting that just about every IT Director and CIO in the world thinks s/he is doing IT Alignment—but most of them are not because they really don't understand what IT Alignment is. Many wrongly think that because they have business justifications for each of the projects in their IT projects portfolio, they are aligned. This common misunderstanding of IT Alignment works against good IT Alignment and it defeats the ability to use IT as a strategic competitive lever. IT Alignment properly understood is the optimum (or near optimum) use of IT to build business value strategically. If the CIO selects the IT projects to be developed based on service requests from the business units, then two things can be virtually guaranteed—and both of these are inconsistent with the objectives of IT Alignment. First is that IT is being reactive, versus proactive, in responding to initiatives created by the business units. Secondly, it is usually not the case that the business unit's requests will necessarily produce value for the overall business, as most of these requests arise from self-focused tactical needs and not strategic opportunities.

In this module we will teach you the five steps of effective IT Alignment. You will also be required to apply these lessons by developing a mini-IT Alignment strategy and plan for your company. You must complete modules 1 and 2 before signing up for this module. Completing this module typically takes about 20+ hours (depending on the level of detail you put into your IT Alignment plan).

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4. IT Governance

CIE Course Module 4

In this module you will learn about four different models/approaches to effective IT Governance, You wil learn how IT Governance has the following advantages:

  1. Your control over IT will actually improve as the other CXOs more knowledgably and enthusiastically support your IT efforts. This is because you will now enjoy greater increases in IT funding, more stable funding, higher user acceptability of your systems, and higher success rates for your new IT systems.
  2. The quality of your IT systems will increase because their impact on the strategic business operations of the company will increase because the other CXOs have helped you identify where the big impact opportunities are.
  3. Your stature and credibility actually go up! The other CXOs now see you as more politically astute (read: "effective"), a better team player at the executive level, and more competent at leading the company in the development and use of IT systems that make more sense for the business. They will begin to accept you as a savvy business executive instead of marginalizing you as a "just a techie".
  4. The other CXOs will start to see that the more they participate in IT resource allocation, the more IT will be able to benefit them and help them accomplish their business objectives.
  5. You will get your seat at the table–and be welcomed as an equal among the other CXOs.

In this module, you will also learn the value of viewing IT challenges as organizational behavioral challenges.

This module we will teach you the business justification and process for effective IT Governance. You will also be required to apply these lessons by developing a plan for IT Governance in your company. You must complete modules 1, 2 and 3 before signing up for this module. Completing this module typically takes about 20+ hours (depending on the level of detail you put into your IT Governance plan).

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5. Information Security

CIE Course Module 5

Few things can sink a CIO's ship faster than Information Security (InfoSec) issues. Modern InfoSec is a complex challenge. Knowing how to competently and knowledgeably manage InfoSec is a survival skill for the modern CIO.

This module teaches you how to be a competent executive management auditor of your company's Information Security (InfoSec) policies and practices. This module begins with 2 hours of DVD-based lectures on how to employ the "Ten Domains of Information Security" to achieve due care and due diligence in the eyes of the U.S. court system in the area of corporate information security. The "Ten Domains of Information Security" comprise the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) best practices for InfoSec published by the (ISC) standards committee. It is thought by many InfoSec experts to be the most complete set of best practices in corporate information security. These DVD-based lectures will give you an executive overview of these ten domains while explaining how to use them to conduct a manager's audit (internal) of your information security. You will be required to use those manager's audit questions to conduct an audit of your company to document the gaps in your current InfoSec policies and practices. Completing this module typically takes about 20+ hours (depending on the level of detail you choose to put into your InfoSec audit).

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The successful completion of Modules 1-5 and successfully passing the certification exam for CIE-Level 1 will result in a CIE Level 1 Certification.

6. Leadership and Motivation

CIE Course Module 6

Executive Leadership is a required skill for the modern competitive CIO. A big part of executive leadership is the ability to effectively motivate your subordinates. The ability to be a good motivator is a primary skill of great executive leadership. Learn from Professor Steve Caldwell (former CIO in the Pepsi and Coca-Cola organizations) as he teaches you how to be a master of workplace motivation. Dr. Caldwell is a leading authority in workplace motivation. He combines a deep understanding of the theories of leadership and motivation with the practical experience of a career as a very successful large corporation executive. He will teach you a process for motivating anyone in the corporate workplace—even the most difficult individuals. This training module includes a survey that you will give to a subordinate. The survey is submitted to us at the Institute for CIO Excellence and Dr. Caldwell will then analyze it and return to you (the supervisor) an analysis of what specific actions you need to take to improve the motivation of that employee. This module includes a two DVD lecture set, a hard-copy of the slides used in Dr. Caldwell's lectures (to facilitate note taking as you watch the lectures), and a hard-copy of the Employee Survey.

Completing this module typically takes about 10 hours.

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7. Marketing and its Relevance to IT

CIE Course Module 7

The CMO's mission is to build future revenues strategically (usually measured in terms of market share). This is very similar to the CIO's mission of creating future wealth strategically. Because of these similarities in mission, there are tremendous opportunities for synergy between these two CXOs. Therefore, a wise CIO works hard to cultivate a close working relationship with the CMO. To do this an in-depth understanding of modern marketing is a key knowledge set the CIO must cultivate. This module will teach you the basics of classical marketing, especially as it relates to creating wealth. It will also help you to better understand and use the theory of modern economic offerings so you can more effectively use IT to increase the future profit margins of your business.

Before you can order this module, you must have successfully completed Modules 1, 2, 3, and 4. Completing this module typically takes about 20 hours.

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8. Internal Management and Technology issues of Large IT Departments

CIE Course Module 8

This module will teach you best practices and valuable insights in the following five areas:

  • Business skill development in the IT management ranks: The leading edge IT departments spend considerable time and effort training their IT managers in business basics and communication. Do you know why? They have discovered this increases IT's productivity, IT's reputation in the rest of the company, IT's success rate, and IT's strategic impact on the business. This module teaches why and how to take advantage of this in your IT department. Each student will be required to produce a proposal for increasing the business and communication skills in his/her IT department.
  • Enterprise Risk Management (ERM): Some forward thinkers say this will be the future differentiator between world class companies and those who are unable to survive in the turbulent world of the global marketplace. Do you know what ERM is and how to do it properly? This module will help you better understand the practice, opportunities and challenges of ERM.
  • The case for a Project Management Office (PMO): There are several ways to set up a PMO. For your company, only one of these ways will work well. This module will teach you how to determine which PMO model is best for your company.
  • Principles of effective e-commerce: What differentiates a mediocre e-commerce effort from a world class e-commerce effort? This module will teach you the seven principles of world class e-commerce operations. Each student will be required to create a gap analysis between their current e-commerce operations and one that applies all seven principles.
  • Evaluation of the business potential of new IT technologies (Gartner Hype Cycle): Do you know how to tell when the time is right for the adoption of new technologies in your company? This part of Module 8 will teach you how to use the Gartner Hype Cycle model so you can make better decisions about when to adopt new technologies.

Before you can sign up for this module, you must have first successfully completed modules 1, 2, and 3. Completing this module typically takes about 20 hours.

Order Module 8: Internal Management and Technology issues of Large IT Departments


9. Sourcing (Offshoring) Management

CIE Course Module 9

Most CIOs, at least of larger companies, have had some experience in offshoring. Very few are able to report achieving the advantages initially envisioned. Most CIOs have an impressive set of scars and bruises to show for their forays into the world of offshoring. It typically takes a company about three years of extensive offshoring efforts before they can report any savings, and then the most successful report only about 20% savings—a far cry from those initially envisioned. This module analyzes some offshoring case studies to teach you where the landmines are and how to navigate around them. Those who have completed this module are much better informed about the challenges that will preface a successful offshoring effort; they are more cautious and purposeful about how they implement an offshoring strategy, and they achieve positive results in much less time than their typical peers. As part of this module, students will be required to write an essay outlining how they would apply the lessons learned in this module to any future IT offshoring initiatives.

Before you can sign up for this module, you must have first successfully completed modules 1, 2, 3 and 8. Completing this module typically takes about 12 hours.

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10. The Global CIO

CIE Course Module 10

This is the last module for your full CIE certification. It covers four areas:

  • Multicultural issues of the global economy and the role of IT: This lecture series helps you better understand the cultural challenges that will face your organization when it first tries to open a branch office in a country with a very different culture from ours.
  • International Economics: Every CIO of a global corporation cannot create wealth strategically in other foreign marketplaces without first having a fundamental understanding of international economics. This set of lectures will give you a broad and fundamental understanding of how the playing field is not level across the globe and why.
  • A full course review and preparation for the certification exam.
  • The certification exam.

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Successful completion of all ten modules and successful completion of CIE certification exam qualifies you for the full CIE (Level 2) certification.