The CIO's 2 New BFFs - InformationWeek

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The CIO's 2 New BFFs
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larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
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.
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.
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 | 4:33:53 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: Author
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?
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
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.
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.
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 | 2:39:27 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?
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