Is the CDO now central to business transformation?

 

Technology has changed the C-suite over the last few years. The chief information officer is now arguably one of the most influential people in any business, as they try to encourage those executives.

McKinsey & Company noted that job titles in the boardroom are now resembling alphabet soup, but there’s one more position that has risen to prominence: The chief digital officer. While the role itself is not a new revelation, the duties that fall at the feet of the average CDO are ever changing.

In the past, the position may have been as simple as introducing a new piece of software here or there to a handful of employees. Today, as McKinsey & Company pointed out, the CDO plays a much bigger role in business transformation, and by proxy, any strategic management processes.

Growing importance

Why has the CDO now become a key cog in the enterprise machine? Well, the rise in importance of the position is directly related to the bigger role of digital at large. There’s plenty of stats out there that support this trend, but one noted by Deloitte stands out in particular: Over the next seven years, one billion digital natives will join the workforce.

Naturally then, employees of tomorrow will want and need a certain level of technological innovation to work effectively, and today’s enterprises simply have to start meeting those expectations.

Strategic importance

As touched on, the CDO will have to play a bigger role in the direction of the enterprise at large. Naturally, much of this will centre on digital, but as more processes are being touched by technology, the impact of any decisions made by the CDO is only likely to increase.

Research collated by Russell Reynolds Associates explained setting goals and executing strategy are one of the core competencies that today’s CDO simply has to possess. To that end, the CDO also has to play a role in overall leadership, and be the type of person others want to follow.

Ultimately, the role of the CDO is an ever-complex one. The best and brightest in the position have a real opportunity to not only lead change in the digital space, but also set the direction for the overarching enterprise to follow.