Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
Commentary
6/5/2014
03:20 PM
Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata
Commentary
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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.

make two important new friends in the business: the chief digital officer and the chief marketing officer.

If you're the CIO of a company with a CDO, invite that person out to lunch as soon as you're done reading this (assuming that you're not already lunch buddies). If your company doesn't have someone in the CDO role, do all you can to lead the digital charge before it appoints someone else. Tanya Cordrey, CDO for London-based Guardian News & Media, participated in the CIO Symposium session with Westerman. She said her role on the executive team is meant to be "that little bit of grit in the oyster to make sure we never lose our emphasis on moving forward."

According to Cordrey:

Our approach to digital transformation was dropping a pebble in a pond, and that pebble was the formation of my team. We are building a world-class digital team that would not look out of place at Google or in Silicon Valley. Building out those disciplines was a very clear signal to the rest of the organization that we were going to move forward, and that we had a critical mass of people who were going to drive that transformation forward. Everybody who works at the Guardian has to be digital.

F. Thaddeus Arroyo, CIO of AT&T Services, who also spoke during the session, got out ahead of the CDO trend. The corporate-wide CDO at AT&T Services reports to him. If your CDO reports directly to the CEO, it's even more critical that you become allies.

Outside of IT, the most digital savvy part of your organization is likely your marketing department. Its members have been working on customer-facing digital initiatives for years, either with or without the CIO's involvement.

Advising CIOs to befriend the CMO isn’t a new concept, but it's easier said than done. Plenty of cultural barriers remain. The two organizations are still jostling for technology budgets.

Arroyo takes a different approach to the budget conundrum. "I like to look at every budget as a digital budget," he said. "As you're using digital technologies to enhance the top line, you can afford to drive incremental investment. As you make those cases, and you're facing disruption in your industry, many of your technology budgets will continue to grow as long as you can prove business value."

Added Westerman: "The great CIOs are not only about spending IT money well. They're good at helping the business spend money well. The better you get at managing technology, the more appetite the organization has for spending on technology, because they see the results."

Who are your best friends at your enterprise? Have you faced hurdles in working with the CMO and marketing department? Does your company have a CDO, or do you think it needs one? Tell us in the comments section below.

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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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Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
6/15/2014 | 8:14:36 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Waqas, I agree. The role of the coordinator is a the catalyst of the whole operation. To be an effective coordinator requires some skill.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/15/2014 | 6:29:49 AM
Re: CDO turf
Susan, agreed. The role of coordinator is very important. How to implement things without least affecting the routine operations is an art.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/15/2014 | 6:18:05 AM
Referees doing the convincing part
References often help in convincing organizations in adopting particular technology options. Executives feel more comfortable if they hear from other non-IT peers who have used such options. Bridging this mind-gap can be best done by the developers of technology if they refer their clients to existing users.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
6/14/2014 | 10:20:25 AM
Re: CDO turf
@Larryloeb, Your comment brought me back to feeling nostalgic too. It reminded me of when my teacher used to use carbon copies for our "dittos." I am surprised PFChang's are operating so old school with the credit card imprinter slips. I actually forgot all about those slips until reading your comment.
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/13/2014 | 6:21:57 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Susan

You think I'm kidding about carbon paper. When PFChang's got breached this week, they went back to old school credit card imprinter slips done with ink and then batch processed. Made me feel nostalgic, it did.

I'm really not knocking the CDO concept, BTW. Anything that can give the C-level a clue is always welcome. I just think they wont listen much; even to good ideas. Inertia and all.

 

 
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
6/13/2014 | 3:54:38 PM
Re: CDO turf
yes, I see the same trend... but thing always change in corporates board rooms...
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/13/2014 | 2:53:37 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: You're lucky to be in a spot where your CFO and COO get along and are both willing to step into the room with you to answer questions. I was in a situation a few years back where I had basically two bosss--I officially reported to one person but with dotted line to another. What they sought from me was often diametrically opposed, and they were rarely willing to sit down together to clear the air and get everything on the same page. 

Oddly enough, learning how to function in that environment ended up giving me some valuable skills though it caused me no small measure of heartburn at the time.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/13/2014 | 2:50:54 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: Based on what you're saying, then, someone who could combine the project management skills and rigor of the CIO with the product-focused, less stringent mentality of the CMO or marketing team could do well in bridging the gap between both worlds. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/13/2014 | 7:38:58 AM
Re: CDO turf
" CIOs have had to fight to get a "seat at the table" so to speak when it comes to be truly considered an equal member of the C-suite alongside the CFO, COO, etc. "

 

That's the truth, on paper I report to the CFO but I probably spend 3-4 times as much of my day working on thing the COO is asking for.  It's an odd management structure but luckily our CFO and COO get along so I can call them in to meetings together to give an overview of what I have going on without a great deal of drama.  There is defiantly a reluctance to add more C level positions but for me the title isn't the end goal.  

 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/13/2014 | 7:35:11 AM
Re: CDO turf
Well in my case it has always been me, but I don't carry a C level title.  IT has always been IT who deals with the external resources because we tend to have the project management skills.  A marketing team might have an excellent leader but they tend to be more product minded than project minded so they will let a project run astray in an attempt to get a product produced.  IT tends to keep things more tightly packaged so we end up with the product we originally set out to get by following a path that we know works.
<<   <   Page 7 / 9   >   >>
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