CIO's today wrestle with more than just technology and the market demands that today's CIO's be more than the technologist and the evangelist they are called to be. In fact they are more like CEO's in the sense they need to have keen interest in the business needs, future strategies and be an active part of ensuring that critical information churned out by techology support delivers timely info to the ground workers, people in field and empower the management/stakeholders of the organization. This is true for this role in Profit as well as Non-profit worlds.
The most important things that the mordern CIO must do is quickly identify business customers (internal and external) to make sure the priorities are classifed and fit first within the IT operational plan and the strategic plan of the organization. Working with IT steering and governance committees, trimming lists of the systems involved and streamlining applications and ensuring qaulity and efficiency are the outputs with a good reporting plan in place.
The second order of business would to standardize communications so key customers, stakeholders and field gets monthly and quarterly updates in regular fashion along with the insights of how the information can be used and what they really mean.
Thirdly defining a portfolio management process for evaluating and prioritizing projects across the enterprise that will have to meet organziational goals, objectives and be part of the strategic vision of the leadership. Key areas that fall into this broad area are that effect mainly the customer relationship management, communication management, events management and project management.
Along with the primary three I know infrastructure managment (99.99% up time), application success, data and events all take considerable time in the life of the CIO's role, the success of the CIO then will be judged in the ability to manage expectations, supply & demand and be the chief neogtiatior of/for customer satisfaction while continually focussing on th big picture of projects in the bigger vision and calling of the orgnaization.