The rise of the Chief Digital Officer?

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Rise of the CDO2At a number of the conferences and seminars I’ve attend recently there has a number of discussions about the role of the Chief Digital Officer. There seems little consensus on whether a CDO is actually needed, or in fact the responsibilities of the role.

Globally it is estimated that 7% of companies with a CDO, and analyst firm Gartner are predicting this will increase to 25% by 2017. Gartner’s predictions clearly there to start a debate and to raise the profile of Gartner themselves but it’s clear to me that an individual whose responsibility is to look at technologies that will enhance the customer experience and focus on social, mobile, analytic and cloud technologies that have the potential to innovate the business model of a company or a whole industry. But have I just described a CTO.

The other view is to look at the increased interest of the CMO in technologies and their supposed appetite for the CIOs budget, again a position promoted by Gartner, but as I’ve heard many digital marketing specialists say, ‘digital marketing is just marketing’. The attitude is clearly one of making sure they have the tools to hit their objectives, they certainly don’t appear to want to support the technology or be responsible for the data and IT governance.

Andrew Pryor

Conference producer in the technology industry, specialising in strategy and leadership for large enterprises.

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