Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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6/5/2014
03:20 PM
Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata
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The CIO's 2 New BFFs

Now that business is digital at its core, it's time to buddy up with the CDO and CMO.

Is your business digital? A better question to ask is: Which part of your business isn't digital? Most organizations -- whether they are corporations, government agencies, healthcare organizations, or educational institutions -- are now digital at the core, including their interactions with customers.

Still not convinced? Here's what George Westerman, a researcher at the MIT Center for Digital Excellence, had to say about the companies that his research has found to be "digital masters." For them, "technology is not technology. It's an opportunity to rethink the processes of how they do business."

[Lets not forget the question of corporate culture. Read Geeks Versus Jocks: CIOs, Beware Your Culture.]

He discussed his team's research during a panel session on business transformation at last month's MIT Sloan CIO Symposium in Boston. "Digital masters all have a common approach to managing digital and are 26% more profitable than their peers," he said. "They lead differently. For all the talk we've seen [advising us to] 'let innovation happen around your organization,' these leaders drive transformation from the top down."

Westerman and his research partners identify companies as digital masters if they meet the following two criteria:

  • They invest in technology with the viewpoint that it represents an opportunity to transform their business, and they have leaders who are proactive about finding ways to use digital technology to benefit all aspects of the business.
  • They drive technology innovation across all business departments, marrying a clear digital vision with a strong governance foundation, preparing the company to change, and seeing that change through.

He gave some examples in a prepared statement, citing Nike, Caesar's Entertainment, and Chilean mining company Codelco as digital masters:

[Nike] is end-to-end digital, from supply chain to design and marketing. It combines custom-designed social media with a digital supply chain. By creating its Nike Digital Sport group, Nike linked all of these functions together, and the company is able to launch more products, customize products, test new designs, and customize advertising to a highly personal level. Within a Caesar's venue, customers are supplied with a concierge on their personal phones that immediately responds to any need, perceived or actual. And the largest copper company in the world, Codelco, is using digital technology both to track production in its copper mines and to update customers about orders. Digital technology also allows Codelco to use driverless mining trucks, and it may even help increase production while minimizing the volume of human activity underground and corresponding safety concerns.

According to a report released earlier this year by Forrester Research, the "biggest test on the road to becoming a digital business is convincing senior management that it's worth the effort. Only one in six of the 1,254 global business execs surveyed by Forrester said his or her company has the competencies to execute a digital strategy.

Indeed, as he noted during the MIT CIO Symposium, "If you think of your organization as a caterpillar, then digital should turn you into a butterfly." The problem, he said, is that many of the businesses his group has studied "are using digital to turn themselves into really fast caterpillars."

What does all this mean for CIOs? For one thing, it's time to

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Susan Nunziata works closely with the site's content team and contributors to guide topics, direct strategies, and pursue new ideas, all in the interest of sharing practicable insights with our community. Nunziata was most recently Director of Editorial for ... View Full Bio
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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 2:52:15 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: in your experience, who has been responsible for overseeing the external customer-facing experiences? When tech is involved (website, mobile app, etc) does that fall to the CMO or CIO or someone else entirely?
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 2:39:27 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Broadway0474: Here's what Gartner had to say on the topic of CDOs, though it doesn't specify whether this refers specifically to Fortune 1000 companies:

Gartner predicts that by 2015, 25 percent of organizations will have a Chief Digital Officer.

"The Chief Digital Officer will prove to be the most exciting strategic role in the decade ahead, and IT leaders have the opportunity to be the leaders who will define it," said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The Chief Digital Officer plays in the place where the enterprise meets the customer, where the revenue is generated and the mission accomplished. They're in charge of the digital business strategy. That's a long way from running back office IT, and it's full of opportunity."

Source: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2208015

Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 2:30:59 PM
Re: CDO turf
@jastro: Good stats there, thank you! There are enough CDOs for them to have their own website. We can learn more about their plans for world domination here: http://chiefdigitalofficer.net
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 2:23:52 PM
Re: CDO turf
@larryloeb: Hilarious: 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.

It  makes not an iota of difference whether you or I are convinced that a CDO is needed. What matters is whether CEOs, boards of directors and other corporate braintrusts (or stockholders) decide that this is the position-du-jour that will solve all the comapny's problems. If that happens and they decide to add CDO to the C-suite, then CIOs at large enterprises will be wise to keep an eye on these developments.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2014 | 7:00:48 AM
Re: "I just eat jelly rolls."
Are you suggesting that  we should  buy them a red shirt and invite them to meet at an exotic location?
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Strategist
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: Strategist
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.
<<   <   Page 10 / 11   >   >>
Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Trying to meet today’s business technology needs with yesterday’s IT organizational structure is like driving a Model T at the Indy 500. Time for a reset.
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