CDOs Replace CIOs? I'm Not Buying It - InformationWeek

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CDOs Replace CIOs? I'm Not Buying It
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pfretty
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pfretty,
User Rank: Ninja
11/13/2014 | 1:57:19 PM
Always evolving
The title is meaningless and the role for CIOs is constantly evolving. Obviously innovation is becoming an even bigger part of the picture. Regardless, information and the ability to strategically manage the data leading to insights is crucial. According to a recent IDG SAS survey, there is an overwhelming lack of an end-to-end data management strategy, coming in at only 14 percent of respondents.   It's time to focus on strategic management after all its strategy that propels everything. 

 

Peter Fretty
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
11/6/2014 | 11:37:23 AM
Re: CDOs Replace CIOs?
Good point, xerox203, about this not needing to be adversarial. It's the word "supplant" that I don't like. Perhaps there's a complementary role still for CDOs or other leaders with more customer-facing experience than the average CIO. But I don't like the implication that most companies will just shunt their CIOs into infrastructure and support roles.
zaious
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zaious,
User Rank: Ninja
11/6/2014 | 1:09:04 AM
Re: CDOs Replace CIOs?
I think the titles will play a little role in the end. These two are not there to annihilate the other one. However, in the eye of other C -suite people, one might appear bigger than the other one dependign on how the company operates. If it is customer focused , the CDo might enjoy some perks. If it is mostly internal business functions, it will be heavier of CIO side.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
11/5/2014 | 8:56:49 PM
Re: CDOs Replace CIOs?
overall, I think this boils down to two basic components, and both of them are good news for today's CIO. Firstly, the obvious point being overlooked in all these predictions is that this is all going to vary from organization to organization. Now, you could say that about anything, but it seems particularly true in this case. This whole change is because technology now plays a bigger role in the business than it did fifteen years ago - but exactly what that means depends on who you are and what you're selling. So, your role as CIO might change, or it might not, and the extent will vary. Your business might or might not need a CDO, and if they do, it might be just fine for you.

That leads into my next point. This whole thing doesn't have to be adversarial. We're saying that a lot of these CDOs are coming up from marketing, but not all of them have to. If your company decides that 'digital' means 'customer-facing' and IT means 'internally-facing', then you might have some decisions to make. You could become the CDO. Alternatively, if you like your current role, you could stay as the CIO and recommend someone for CDO you think would make a great partner. It doesn't have to be someone coming in to steal your thunder.
PaulI254
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PaulI254,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/5/2014 | 2:04:44 PM
Re: A CIO by any other name ...
Thanks Rob.  I have a list of my articles on myweb site by my full name.  I also rcently wrote a book entitled "The 9 1/2 Secrets of a Great It Organization-Don't Do IT Yourself."  Just in case you are intrested
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
11/5/2014 | 1:26:24 PM
Re: A CIO by any other name ...
Excellent, Paul. I just read your piece. I particularly liked this observation:

"Take the chief financial officer. I have yet to hear of a CFO becoming the chief mergers officer when the company contemplates its first merger or acquisition. The CFO's role changes to encompass some new duties but that officer remains in charge of finance. And I suspect that most CFOs would not appreciate a change in title every time their role was redefined."
PaulI254
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PaulI254,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/5/2014 | 12:28:27 PM
Re: A CIO by any other name ...
Rob,  I couldn't agree more.  I posted a similar article on Computerworld's website recently entitled "Leave the CIO Alone."

 

 

 

 
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/5/2014 | 11:41:56 AM
Re: A CIO by any other name ...
I agree that the CDO title will fade like many other CXO flavor-of-the month titles. The digital reimagination of a business is too complex to hand over to someone who's come up through marketing. But the pragmatic CIOs of yesteryear will have to open up and be more customer-focused, and many may not have those skills in them. Versatility has never been more important in an IT leadership role, whatever the job title may be.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
11/5/2014 | 11:18:39 AM
A CIO by any other name ...
If a CDO supplants a CIO and is successful, I think you will find that person has some of the traditional CIO skills. In other words, in some organizations the top tech title may change, but that will be as much window dressing as substance. A CDO who is all sizzle and no steak won't succeed without a good CIO backing him up. A CDO who is focused on creating worthwhile digital products that the company either can sell or use to sell its other products more effectively will be a valuable asset -- but that takes more than alignment with the marketing organization.

Meanwhile, a CIO who is fast on his feet and seizes the new digital possibilities can make the creation of a new C-level title unnecessary.


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