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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larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2014 | 7:17:03 PM
CDO turf
I'm not sure most organizations understnd the need for a CDO. What problems do they see a CDO solving?

Will it be a c-level turf war emerging? CIOs think they own the hardware, and may not welcome a CDO telling them where to point it.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
6/6/2014 | 1:51:24 AM
Re: CDO turf
The debating for CxO seems to be endless. I have the same concern here - do we need CDO? Why can't CIO take the responsibility? Or our data volume/variety/velocity is so big that we need a dedicated executive to handle it...?
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/6/2014 | 7:39:54 AM
Re: CDO turf
I can't say that I've ever heard of a CDO but I have to agree that I feel like this should fall into the CIOs bucket.  Are we going to start an era of inflated C level positions the way we saw middle management explode a decade or so ago?

 

Shifting gears and discussing the relationship between a CIO and CMO, I can see the issue.  I often feel like I'm speaking a different language when working with a marketing group.  They throw around technical terms like they understand what they mean but when I act on them in a very IT like fashion it becomes obvious that we see are using different definitions.
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?
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
6/12/2014 | 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.
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.

 

 
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.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/17/2014 | 4:51:42 PM
Re: CDO turf
@larryloeb: Truly, I thought you were kidding. I did not see that about PF Chang's moving to the old-school carbon paper credit card processors. They're certainly harder to hack, that's for sure. 

Another option, of course, is for everyone to start paying cash again...

Ya, I get it about the CDO title, seems like companies are a little too eager to call people Chief-This and Chief-That these days, which certainly seems to weaken the power that should be implied by the position. Certainly CIOs have a hard enough time getting their ideas through to the rest of the corporate leadership, so I can appreciate your skepticism that a CDO would have any better luck at it. 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 3:18:11 PM
Re: CDO turf
SusanN,

Do you feel that the cases of Practical ,Home-Spun C-Level Execs are now in the Minority?

Does everybody just go simply on the basis of Foolish Titles?

Sad reality if that is certainly the case.

Regards

Ashish.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 3:03:11 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Ashish: I do think we're in a state of C-Level overload, and in today's media some CEOs in particular are treated like rock stars, especially in the U.S. It seems from where I sit that corporations based outside the U.S. take a much more realistic view of the C-level roles and the display of wealth is far less ostentatious, for example. 

There's also just an overload of title creep: Everybody gets VP or director titles these days, so the next big thing is to snag a Chief Something Or Other title. The real question is what actual poewr comes along with that title...
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2014 | 9:22:08 AM
Re: CDO turf
Couldn't agree with you more, Susan. A lot of these new C level positions are really more like specialist positions that can disappear when the fad is over. A true C-level position is one that is crtical for the company to keep functioning and growing.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 12:21:24 PM
Re: CDO turf
Susan,

You have to look far and Wide to find a CEO in America who is Grounded.

Like this one

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-24/burger-kings-ceo-daniel-schwartz-is-33-years-old

I am not saying he's perfect but he seems to be made of the right stuff and seems to be delivering Results (without too many Complaints from Franchisees).

In Asia,the Problem is very different.

I have seen so many CEOs who are as Ostentatious as their Counterparts in the US.

The Difference though is that a lot of their Wealth is usually Hidden and they are'nt very transparent about it.

But even that culture is changing as People become more Bling-focussed (As a Result crime is going up).

Regards

Ashish.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 3:11:20 PM
Re: CDO turf
Larry,

I share this same scepticism today.

The rate at which these C-Level Titles are being happily flung about raises some serious queries about what works effectively and what does'nt.

One needs Leaders who are practical and have a good degree of Knowledge regarding the Various Industry Goings on.;Titles Don't serve that purpose on their  own.

Regards

Ashish.

 
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/28/2014 | 3:52:41 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Ashu

I'm glad your thoughts and mine align here. 

It's not the title so much as what you do with it.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 3:57:31 PM
Re: CDO turf
Larry,

That's a fair statement to make.

Plain and simple the Best way to do things here.

 
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:38:02 PM
Re: CDO turf
let agree to disagree... as simple solution is not always right fit... it depends on the problem... or how complex is the problem at hand... 
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.
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.
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.
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
6/10/2014 | 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.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 2:57:00 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: Pointy haired managers: "Who determines when these positions are needed?"

another question to add here is one of power. All "C"-level positions are not created equal, as any CIO can tell you. 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. To some degree, I think the CMO is in the same boat as the CIO, because they are both considered the heads of cost centers instead of revnue generating sides of the business.

The question for me then becomes: Who would hold more power in the organization that has a CDO. If that CDO does not report to the CIO--would the CDO position have more clout because it is seen as being attached to activities that are customer-facing and therefore potentially revenue-generating?
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.  

 
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.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/16/2014 | 8:37:09 AM
Re: CDO turf
Your situation sounds very familiar and I would be in the same position if our executives didn't agree on so many issues.  There are times when I am stuck in the middle of differing opinions but it is often an issue of how to tackle a problem not so much a fight about where my efforts should be focused.  I also have moments of "when did he ask you to do that" which are uncomfortable but those are short lived and less stressful than full on power trips over who should be directing my department.

 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/17/2014 | 4:56:26 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: power trips and turf wars are probably the two most damaging things I've encountered, they can pretty well undermine any effort in an organization, particularly if the people engaging in them are high enough up the corporate ladder.
SaneIT
IW Pick
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/19/2014 | 8:11:22 AM
Re: CDO turf
I wonder how many executives fight their way to the top only to find out that they don't have much of a support structure around them once they get there.  I have to believe that most would prefer to have a solid team around them that they can trust and that not all of them reach the top without some help. I'm big on having a strong team around me and giving credit where it is due so if I ever get that CIO title I shouldn't have to deal with much fighting due to ego issues.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:50:24 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: That's exactly the kind of attitude I'd love to see more of in business. Your teams are lucky to have you, and I do hope that you are able to achieve your career goals. In the meantime, perhaps you can provide some executive coaching to others who are in the higher positions and don't grasp -- or have forgotten -- the very basic edict we all have learned from childhood: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

 
SaneIT
IW Pick
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2014 | 7:19:58 AM
Re: CDO turf
I think that I'll be able to keep the same approach even if I do move into a C level position.  I do have several people around me who have warned me not to "be like one of them" as a way of telling me that they feel like some of the C levels they work with are not as easy going as I am or as helpful.  Much of what I hear is that they expect me to become more of a micro manager because that is what they see at that level and they are afraid that I'll lose the collaborative nature that I have.  My take on my position in the company is that if I'm not replaceable then I can't be promoted out of the position either.  I need my team to understand what I do and why I do it so that if I move up and out that things will continue down the right path and they won't feel lost.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 2:43:18 AM
Re: CDO turf
SaneIT

"I need my team to understand what I do and why I do it so that if I move up and out that things will continue down the right path and they won't feel lost."

It is human nature to get insecure and one has to be very confident about his future prospects to make a good successor of his role. This is where HR must also play the role.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 2:53:26 PM
Re: CDO turf
Waqas,

Not just HR but also the Senior Management in the Company (and especially the Founders) need to have  a succession Management strategy in place.

Who's your No.2 who will step out to the plate if the No.1 Gets incapacitated for any reason?

Similarly,What happens if your No.2 suddenly decides to leave the company?You have to not just train a fresh No.2 but also be prepared for him/her to make mistakes as they learn the ropes.

Its not easy but it has to be done effectively enough and Senior Management should lead the charge here.

Regards

Ashish.

 
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2014 | 6:15:07 AM
Re: CDO turf
Right Ashish. The management should be proactive to these problems. Some are always under impression that supply of human resources is in excess so it won't be a problem in finding a replacement from the external market.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2014 | 11:37:12 AM
Re: CDO turf
Waqas,

You raised an interesting point here.

While it may be true that there is an Ample Supply of Human Talent in the Job Market today from an Employer Perspective;the fact that every single time someone new comes on the Scene one needs to re-train and waste enormous Resources and Time in the process is a cost one can't neglect in the Long-run.

It all adds up eventually,so it makes much more sense to take care of the staff you have in place today.

Regards

Ashish.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:34:35 PM
Re: CDO turf
could not agree more, proper planing and prepartion is a must in any case... plus investment in the training upgrades.... better safe than sorry... even with human factor...how I see it...
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/27/2014 | 9:19:05 AM
Re: CDO turf
Ashish, the mentality of an owner-managed company says otherwise. They are just not bothered as to who comes in and goes out. Ofcourse that affects organizations' performance and such organizations face hurdles in growth because of their people issue.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 11:42:04 AM
Re: CDO turf
Waqas,

As an IT Consultant who has to deal with these kind of companies regularly;I will agree and disagree with your statement at the sametime.

Because these companies are constantly pressed for Resources and time;every single Employee matters a lot for them.

The Big problem though tends to happen when Owners try to do everything themselves(rather than Delegating effectively).

In that sceanario;where most Employees don't feel the Trust factor (that is so so essential to getting things done) things can get(and do get) Ugly very quickly.

Regards

Ashish.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 3:25:49 PM
Re: CDO turf
Ashish, true. Large corporations cannot effectively run unless they have decision makers other than the owners. Owners just need to ensure that decision makers are capable and they understand owners' objectives.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 4:05:42 PM
Re: CDO turf
Waqas,

Is'nt that easier said than Done?

How many Owners have you met who have an Off-Hand Attitude?

You know just Hire a Good Professional Manager and then Step Back.

Its so so tough to get these kind of Owners.I am sure they are there but they are just hard to find in real life.

 
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 9:14:45 PM
Re: CDO turf
Ashish, there aren't many. However, I work for an organization where ownership has no involvement in management. All they do is attend quarterly board of governance meetings and that's it. 
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
8/3/2014 | 12:32:48 AM
Re: CDO turf
could not agree more, sometimes I see in boardrooms everyone spend's more time talking about it... but do not do anything about it... only talk, talk, talk...
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2014 | 10:54:33 AM
Re: CDO turf
Batye, well not all companies' boards are ignorant about human resources side of the company. They want staff that is competant and willing to learn new stuff. A staff that expects diverse learning opportunities usually remains motivated.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2014 | 8:45:45 PM
Re: CDO turf
yes, agree :), as everyone wants best employees
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
8/3/2014 | 12:30:29 AM
Re: CDO turf
@Ashu001 I could not agree more,interesting point/observation... as life not a book...
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:42:03 PM
Re: CDO turf
I think we need to look from the point... finding, groming and ability of keeping talents in the Co.... as Education and right credentials not always equal right person for a job... how I see it...
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 7:13:55 AM
Re: CDO turf
I think for some people this is a natural tendency but for others who don't feel threatened then the feeling is more of a supporting nature.  I know I can't do everything by my self so I make sure I have people around who can fill the gaps or cover for me when I'm gone.  I know that if an employer doesn't want me around there are not a lot of obstacles in their way to get rid of me so being hard to work with and giving them one more reason is just a bad idea.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 3:00:56 PM
Re: CDO turf
SaneIT,

Thats the right way to look at this critical issue.

Fact is no one is irreplaceable in an organization;otherwise they would never go elsewhere.

A CIO's job is not to micro-manage but rather Delegate responsibility effectively to employees so that they can be freed up mentally for more aggressive Strategizing as well as Research on what works and what does'nt for today's Enterprise.

You are doing it the right way.

Regards

Ashish.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 2:44:01 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: Can we clone you? Sersiously, so few managers have such an enlightened, ego-less view of their roles. Your personal insights on this topic can be put into practice at any level of one's career. Let me ask: Did you learn this from a mentor or guide, or has this always been your personal philosophy since you began your career?
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2014 | 7:46:57 AM
Re: CDO turf
@Susan, I would love to go around teaching my strategy to other managers/leaders.  I do enough of it where I am now that I think I could take my methods on the road.  It's not incredibly difficult but some people have a hard time changing their frame of mind.  I've had people tell me that if they don't manage their employees incredibly closely that nothing will get done.  I usually ask them if the same is true for them that if no one is watching that they will stop working.  After that they tend to get the point, yes some people need a little more hand holding or help with prioritizing work but it's rare to find an employee who refuses to work.  My job is to give them the tools they need to get the job done so if something is getting hung up rather than look for someone to blame I look for where the process is breaking down.
Hospice_Houngbo
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Hospice_Houngbo,
User Rank: Strategist
6/23/2014 | 8:44:00 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Suzan_Nunziata: Is there any better approach to deal with these kinds of power struggles within the corporate leadership?
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:56:11 PM
Re: CDO turf
@H-H: Ah, such a good question! The best that a person can do, I think, is to try not to take anything personally, understand as best as possible what is motivating all the players, and be honest and forthcoming with all parties. It may end up backfiring on you, but at least you can go home and look yourself in the mirror at night! And, if the political situation in the organization is truly  toxic, I would suggest finding another place to work if at all possible.
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
6/12/2014 | 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 | 2:52:15 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?
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.
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. 
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
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.
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: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 1:04:31 PM
Re: CDO turf
Angelfuego, yes. Determination is the biggest skill in my opinion. The lack of follow-up is the factor which often results in failure to achieve the desired objectives.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/17/2014 | 4:54:36 PM
Re: CDO turf
@WaqasAtlaf: So perhaps organizations really need a Chief Coordinating Officer. It seems that it's most often in the executiion of projects that things fall apart, good project management is hard to find in any field. why do you think it is that so many organizations struggle so much with execution and implementation?
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 1:22:31 PM
Re: CDO turf
Susan

"why do you think it is that so many organizations struggle so much with execution and implementation?"

Lack of persistence. People start off with things but cannot keep their focus on the tasks and monitor each and every aspect of it regularly. That is where things go wrong.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:59:06 PM
Re: CDO turf
@WaqasAtlaf: lack of persistence is spot on, and I would add that with so many shifting priorities in an organization, it becomes very difficult for many people to keep their eyes on the endgame and fully execute.

That's certainly been my experience, when I look back at great ideas that never saw the light of day. More often than not, it was because I had too many conflicting priorities and immediate, hair-on-fire deadlines, and so anything that was not crucial got pushed to the back burner, or pushed off the stove entirely.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 2:39:37 AM
Re: CDO turf
Susan, true. That is where specialized roles such as that of CDO creep in. If the company is serious about moving in the right direction, it must have grasp on all factors that determine that direction. Specialized roles can create a foundation from where the analysis becomes a lot easier.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:39:48 PM
Re: CDO turf
interesting, but in my books other factors in play should not be overlooked... as a lot of the factors depends on the corp. envr. and office politics in play...
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 2:46:07 AM
Re: CDO turf
Batye, yes you are right. Often office politics becomes a hurdle in good HR pool management. Insecurity is a well-known human weakness.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 2:47:31 AM
Re: CDO turf
thank you :)
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 2:50:08 PM
Re: CDO turf
@WaqasAtlaf: And it may well turn out that this is a position that is only necessary for a certain number of years as companies make the transition into being truly digital from end to end. There's a lot of importance to the person who can be the liaison to bring disparate groups together in an organization to mold the future strategy, whatever that person's title  may be.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 2:54:00 AM
Re: CDO turf
Susan, hmm. This position may not just be relevant for the transition phase but may be moving into the future, the need of this position becomes so important that sub-roles may have to be defined. Management of everything digital also requires a C-level position.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 3:58:31 PM
Re: CDO turf
I agree with you it is very hard and takes a lot of planning to implement new things without changing operations...
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:30:59 PM
Re: CDO turf
yes, same here, but even with a lot of the planings things never goes as planned... I always say to my boss be prepared for everything goes wrong way.... not as expected... do we have a plan...
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/31/2014 | 10:02:44 AM
Re: CDO turf
@ Batye

Yes, you always have to plan for the unexpected. If you don't acknowledge in the beginning of the project that there will be unforeseen challenges along the way, the project could be doomed for failure from the get-go.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
8/3/2014 | 12:29:18 AM
Re: CDO turf
yes, as a lot of the things in play... but in any case... I prefer to be prepared... or have understanding...
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2014 | 5:09:20 PM
Re: CDO turf
Good point. Even if its impossible to be prepared for every scenario, if you understand that anything can happen than you are ahead of the game. Expecting it and understanding it can happen are half the battle. The other half is how you handle the unexpectd when it really finally happens.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
9/10/2014 | 12:10:32 AM
Re: CDO turf
@StaceyE - Thank you, but I think in reality things do gonna happens one way or other... it just way of our existance :( reality ...
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 3:43:16 PM
Re: CDO turf
SaneIT,

Very true.

I was reading an article in some Business Magazine(I can't remember the name now),which was discussing how a large number of Middle Execs in a good number of Fortune 500 companies are feeling completely stuck or they feel like they have been made redundant because of Automation.

For a Company,these middle Layers of Management (who are mainly paper pushers) are perfect to cut in the name of Cost-cutting.

You lose so much flab without having to worry about performance getting afftected much.

 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 7:22:17 AM
Re: CDO turf
I won't call all C level or middle managers flab and I will be careful about saying you could fire management and not affect production.  A good manager will free up employees to do their jobs more efficiently and will inspire them to great things.  If you cut that manager in the name of reducing redundancies then you'll probably regret it.  I just see a bubble forming at the executive level the way we saw a bubble around middle management a decade or so ago.  Companies have to be careful when they are defining positions.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 2:45:09 PM
Re: CDO turf
I agree with you, SaneIT.

 

I had never heard of a CDO before, and I am of the same opinion; the CIO bucket. How many more C's can they add to the suite?
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:33:12 PM
Re: CDO turf
everything changing even names for CEO's... as with changes in technology, changes happening in Corporate lader....
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/31/2014 | 10:05:00 AM
Re: CDO turf
@ Batye

Change is inevitable. If a person can't roll with the changes they won't get far. You still see people that are set in their ways in the workforce, but they are usually the ones staying in the same place and never moving up the ladder.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 9:21:11 PM
Re: CDO turf
StaceyE, you are right. Ability to unlearn is even difficult that learning something in the first place and people who are able to learn that skill, higher managers are ready to offer them new roles.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2014 | 5:05:32 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Waqas

Very good point! When you are accustomed to doing something one way it is difficult to scrap what you have been doing and start using another process.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
9/21/2014 | 2:05:12 AM
Re: CDO turf
StaceyE, but this is how one has to operate and learn how to be flexible when learning diverse areas. How to keep a balance between adaptibility (being open to learning diverse opportunities) and consistency (working continuously on the core area without being distracted to other areas principally) is the key. 
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/30/2014 | 2:18:25 PM
Re: CDO turf
@ Waqas

I absolutely agree with you adaptability and consistency are key to success. One must always be open to new learning opportunities and be willing to try new approaches to the way things are done.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2014 | 9:48:20 PM
Re: CDO turf
StaceyE, key here is to also not to lose sight of the bigger picture and not to lose sight of the current tasks in hand in the curiousity of learning new things.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
8/3/2014 | 12:27:46 AM
Re: CDO turf
yes, it like way of nature, as nothing with technology stays the same... but knowing or knowledge is power... How I see it...
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2014 | 5:07:04 PM
Re: CDO turf
You're right, knowledge is power. While it is challenging to stay hip to the new technology it is important to at least try.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
9/10/2014 | 12:06:44 AM
Re: CDO turf
@StaceyE it no other way how I see it... it like never ending process of life in IT :)
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2014 | 9:18:26 AM
Re: CDO turf
There are just too many chiefs out there these days. And a lot of these new fangled C-level positions have people who are too young for the roles. They tend to be faddish instead of functional. A lot of the positions should be part of an existing C position responsibilities or maybe just a mid level manager position.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/15/2014 | 4:58:27 PM
Re: CDO turf
@tjgkg,

I'm wondering what is diving those positions then.  Is it an attempt to  build a "younger" company and relate with a younger generation?  If so is it working?  It doesn't make sense to me, I don't see the point of a handful of traditional C level positions in a company depending on the company size though.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/16/2014 | 4:44:04 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: Yes I think it is an attempt to appeal more towards the younger employees. It also eliminates traditional structures of a regular corporation which appeals to them as well. I'm not so certain as to how effective it is operationally or even if younger people appreciate the effort. Social media might just be a short term fad. Who knows how long Twitter or FB will last. And why duplicate the work of their regular website? The next fad is always around the corner so who knows if these positions will last or will be migrated to the next fad?
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.
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.
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
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 11:08:47 AM
Re: CDO turf
I agree with you. It is becoming like there are too many chiefs and not enough indians at this point. And having another C-Level person is sure to cause more politics which corporations have more than enough of. I wish companies hired more regular workers and let the existing chiefs actually do their jobs.
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/24/2014 | 11:26:33 AM
Re: CDO turf
@tjgkg

If C-level positions can inspire and lead the folk that actually do things, they have a useful position in the enterprise. It's obvious enough to be valid.

But if they don't do that, the doers will find a way around them to get things done.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 6:44:11 PM
Re: CDO turf
I wish that inspiring and leading were at the top a C-levels to-do lists however it is not. It isn't even on their radar in most companies. In fact in many companies you cannot even approach them unless you go through the chain of command. To me most of them are just politicians who are looking out for their own skin and glory. You are correct when you say the doers will find a way around them to get things done. I think that is the rule these days.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 4:03:17 PM
Re: CDO turf
@tjgkg: Sadly in most organizations that is the case, and those who do get things accomplished oftentimes get overlooked or not credited with it. This is also, in part, due to the fact that our business culture in the U.S. tends to reward the extrovert over the introvert. I'm reading a fascinating book on this topic right now, called "Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking." I highly recommend! It discusses the challenges that introverts face in climbing the corporate ladder, among many other eye-opening topics related to what our business culture is all about. All we need to do is look at the flaming that Apple's Tim Cook is getting to see just how difficult it is to not fit the mold in today's corporate environment.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 7:26:20 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Susan: Thanks for the link. Unfortunately for TIm Cook he is following a legend who died young. Apple was very much tied to Jobs and nobody, however great a CEO they are, will never change that. Jobs also had his finger on the pulse of society and made products that really appealed to people. Cook is probably more of an administrator than a visionary which also does not help, especially since no earth shattering products have come out on his watch yet.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 2:35:35 PM
Re: CDO turf
@tjgkg: Fair enough, though I think anyone who tried to fill Jobs' shoes would have faced the same level of scrutiny and criticism, even if they were a more dynamic personality. Jobs left a huge void and I'm challenged to think of any exec who could fill it. Maybe Elon Musk?
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2014 | 8:34:27 AM
Re: CDO turf
@Susan: It's like in sports, it is very difficult to replace the Hall of Famer. Jobs was a once in a lifetime personality who invented many great things. He had the common touch. A very hard combination to replace. Tim Cook is a veteran executive who is certainly competant. I am just concerned at the high level that Jobs set will not be met for a while. That is probably why they split their stock and started paying dividends too (something Jobs was adamantly against).
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 2:43:49 AM
Re: CDO turf
tjgkg, good leader makes good succession planning as well. I don't know if Jobs did it well. May be he tried but innovation is not everyone's game; some are too creative. However with the talent pool Apple must be having, they should stay competitive; yes I said competitive and not leaders because for that another great mind is needed else Android in OS and many in manufacturing are doing well.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2014 | 9:15:14 AM
Re: CDO turf
From what I understand Jobs chose Cook. But there will never be another Jobs so he chose the best candidate available to run the show. I am sure that there is a good talent pool in Apple but you have to wonder if there are going to be clashes between the Jobs disciples and new folks who want to go in a different direction.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 3:06:01 PM
Re: CDO turf
SusanN,

This is a most interesting Book!

Wow!

I had no idea ,someone will also ever look at Introverts like this.

I like it!

Lets not dispute the fact that most of what we (in most Organizations today);talk about is pure Nonsense on a Day-Day Basis.

Why not have some Quiet-Time instead?

Brilliant-Brilliant Thought-process.

Regards

Ashish.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 2:58:57 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Ashish: So glad you found it useful. I have learned so  much from reading this book, and also it has helped me understand how most corporate environments are so heavily tilted toward extroverts as to be damaging. Even something as basic as office design really does not allow for the introvert to be truly productive at work. I hope this can be the start of some new thinking about how corporations accommodate different kinds of people.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 12:03:22 PM
Re: CDO turf
SusanN,

Very-Very True.

You need the right balance at the end of the day(Between Extroverts and Introverts).

If you lean just one way or the other(can You imagine how crazy an Organization loaded with just Introverts would be???);The Organization won't have a sustainable and realistic culture in place.

There is a strong possibility such a company won't last the distance.

Regards

Ashish.
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?
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
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.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
6/16/2014 | 11:54:08 AM
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?




kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
6/19/2014 | 10:38:38 AM
Digital Master definition
I wonder if their definitions ofwhich companies are digital savvy are leading them to the conclusion that digital savvy companies lead innovation from the top down. Seemed like it was practically included in the definition. While I think the first part of their definition is spot on. seeing tech as a real tool for change is great, but the second part:

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.

forces you to conclude that digital masters are working top down becasue it's in the definition. So what are you if you use technology to change your comapny but allow each department  to find their own way?

Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:53:46 PM
Re: Digital Master definition
@kstaron: Based on my understanding of the MIT research, and seeing Westerman discuss the findings at the CIO Symposium, what you describe would not qualify a company as a digital master according to their definitions. The top-down, holistic approach is truly key, I think, in terms of embedding a tech-forward approach into an organization's DNA. It doesn't mean that digital innovation can't bubble up from diffferent busienss or tech unitis within the company. Quite the contrary, in fact, a company that is considered a digital master would have a structure that allows and encourages digital innovation to come from all corners of the organization. The difference is that the senior management embraces and supports this, both culturally and financially.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 6:24:11 AM
Re: Amazing
The digital era has simplified a lot of work in different fields including government cooperation's, educational institutions and health care organizations. CDO and CMO partnering up with CIO will make work much faster and effective in the eventual long run. Companies are only left with the responsibility of investing in technology that will advance the company and bring about profits. This technology should also be properly and to be effective.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 4:06:12 PM
Re: Amazing
@SachinEE: Eventually, many copmanies will be forced to change their approach and culture toward this digital-forward mindset. And that is, truly, what it is at the core: A shift in corporate mindset. It's good to see, in the examples you cite, industries that have sometimes been viewed as being behind the curve when it comes to using technology are now actually embracing it for the betterment of the organizaitons and the people they serve (particulary healthcare and government). While there will be missteps along the way, any step forward is a sign of progress.
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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InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
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