The analysis of the process of establishing Chief Information Officer Function in the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence in 2000 and in North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 2020 is used to identify the critical elements for success of the change management process and full realization of the strategic benefits for the organization. Differentiation between the governance of IT and management of capabilities and services for the federation of business organizations is considered as a framework to develop and optimize the CIO function in relation to service provision. The approach proposed in this article combines the COBIT framework with the Analytic Hierarchy Process method for decision making and architectural design and business process optimization to provide a sound basis for consensus in the development of the CIO function. The approach is tested in instituting the CIO function in the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (a federation of more than 40 entities) and its implementation for national and EU level is then defined as a roadmap. Core elements of the approach are tested in the framework of the ECHO project under H2020 for development of a governance model of the European cyber security collaborative trusted net-work organization.