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The CIO's 2 New BFFs
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Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
6/10/2014 | 10:44:39 PM
Re: CDO turf
Right on. What executive wants to lose power. It's one thing to build a new sub-fiefdom for a CIO, it's another to create a new C-suite position and slice away part of his/her fiefdom. The CDO smells of an idea imported.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/10/2014 | 7:05:29 AM
Re: CDO turf
I was wondering the same thing.  Who determines when these positions are needed? In some cases I can see a CIO agreeing to spin off part of his responsibilities if the company is large enough but in most instances I would think that they would restructure below the CIO to address high volume workloads.  Aside from a slap in the face I can see it as a major hurdle in getting anything done.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
6/9/2014 | 11:33:31 PM
Re: CDO turf
Do any of these consultancies like a Forrester keep track of how many Fortune 1000 organizations have a CDO? Who is pushing for these newfangled C-suite positions? Consultancies like Forrester? If I were a CIO, I would be pissed if my CEO decided to create a CDO. Slap in the face. Likewise for a CMO.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Ninja
6/9/2014 | 1:53:21 PM
Re: CDO turf
 

 Sane I agree the proliferation of C levels often causes role conflict and slow down the progress. For some organizations it might make sense to have a CDO for others a digital specialist that reports to another c level might be better suited. I don't think it's a one size fits all org chart. There is allot to be said for being lean and nimble at the top.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/9/2014 | 7:23:32 AM
Re: CDO turf
With the CDO/CMO and various other titles it makes me wonder if we're going to see those titles shrink back in the next few years.  The org chart seems to be in a state of expansion for the C levels right now but when we start having more specific titles added it sounds like a bubble forming.  Maybe there are companies out there who need a CDO and a CIO but I can't say that I've ever been part of one of those companies.   The hand offs between such similar roles makes me wonder how responsibilities will be split, how departments are staffed and how they avoid duplicating positoins.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
6/7/2014 | 10:46:29 AM
Re: CDO turf
A quick look at the Glassdoor listings shows 388 openings for a CDO and 4,473 openings for a CIO. New roles take a long time to catch on (if they do); the one I'm thinking of is CMO, which is a relatively new role in an organization (the last decade or so). There are still companies that don't know how to create or empower a CMO.

The CDO is the digital business strategist the CIO will never become because the latter is focused on more basic aspects about technology than the former. Whether CEOs realize they need a digital strategist along with a technology manager may depend on their marketplace performance and stock price. In the meantime, if your organization has a CDO, getting to know them is probably a very good idea.
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/6/2014 | 6:02:50 PM
Re: CDO turf
@snunyc

Gee, I still remain unconvinced that a CDO will have an obvious mission inside the organization. You see these well-known names pop up inside a company now and again, spreading the Digital Message. Except that message is 10 years old. 

Given a post-Snowden internet, someone that figures out how to use carbon paper and multiple forms in a manila envelope is powerful and far less likely to be intercepted by NSA types. Does the CDO tell us when to stop using things digital?
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/6/2014 | 4:33:53 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: Yup, there are a lot of new "c-level" titles being flung around, as well as the concept of the "CIO Plus" role, which is sort of a catch-all for anything to do with tech and business. Re. the CMO, the language and culture barriers there are hard to overcome, I've seen this firsthand as well. Everybody's got their jargon and perspectives. To some degree, a CDO might be able to be the liaison between those two worlds, or the CIO/CDO/CMO combo could be powerful. That requires people who are open to collaboration and not so married to their own corner of the business that they can't step back and take a wider view. It's almost as if meetings between the CIO and CMO require someone who can act as a simultaneous translator, as in high-level multinational diplomatic meetings. Could a CDO could fit that role?
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/6/2014 | 4:25:01 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Li Tan: It's party an issue of data velocity/volume and party an issue of business acumen. CIOs would do well to take on the role or appoint someone to their team who can handle the full scope of digital in the enterprise. Where I see the difference is that the CDO role seems to be a business-first role, rather than a tech-first role. Some CIOs also take that POV, though far too many are still head's down in tech, focusing on keeping the lights on and cutting costs. It really comes down to a matter of having the vision to see how technology can truly transform operations, both in terms of customer-facing and interally facing functionality. The two roles can be complementary and make for a powerful team if done right.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/6/2014 | 4:08:21 PM
Re: CDO turf
@larryloeb: Turf war is the traditional way this could play out, though IMHO the smart CIOs will welcome a CDO and/or work to expand their own role to encompass the CDO responsibilities. The way the CDO role typically is playing out right now is similar to what Tanya Cordrey describes, which is essentially almost one of "Digital Evangelist" who looks at how to tie together customer-facing apps and offerings with back-end infrastructure across the business. Some CIOs already are doing this, and those who are still taking a command-and-control view of IT are going to be hurt in the long run.
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