Re: The CIO's 2 New BFFs
I see where a lot of you guys are coming from when doubting the need for a CDO position at most companies (and believe me, I'm the first one to jump aboard any kind of anti-buzzword bandwagon at any opportunity). However, I think we're leaving a key point out of that discussion here, and it's exactly what Susan was trying to focus on in the article. "Technology" is no longer a subsection or a feature of most businesses - it's everywhere, and it touches every part of the business. At a certain point isn't saying the CIO should manage all that technology, all the time kind of like saying the CFO should micromanage every department's budget (which, maybe some CFOs do, but that's a talk for another time)? Do you really want all that extra work and does it really fit in the job description you signed up for when you joined?
As for the over-abundance of C-level positions, it definitely is a noticable trend, and we're right to stop and wonder if it's really the right way to go. I think there is a reason, for it, though. We talk a lot these days about the importance of 'nimbleness' or 'agility'. Startups can move so quickly because nobody there has to answer to anyone - everyone is in charge of what they're doing. There's something to be said for that agility at big companies. If you want to hire a 'digital' officer to manage your customer-facing technology projects (that is, to solve a problem you have now), does it really make sense to appoint him under the CIO? There's logic in the idea that if you want to see results, you need to appoint someone who's autonomous - and who's more autonomous than a chief?