The earliest generations of CIOs were denizens of the so-called mainframe era, a reference to the mainframe computers that were used to automate back-oﬃce processes. Being a CIO in those days was primarily a technical job, concerned with delivering and maintaining corporate IT systems.
All this changed in the 1990s. Suddenly, every business needed to have a website — but that was just one piece of a much larger digital approach to overall business strategy. The CIO became a key leader within the business, monitoring technological advancements and making crucial recommendations for leveraging technology to make businesses more eﬃcient, more productive, and more proﬁtable.