Sunday 5 June 2016

Do you need a Chief Digital Officer?

Today introducing basic digital capabilities and creating some pilots for customer interaction are days of the past. The challenges of the new digital age make the jumping on Digital Transformation inevitable and subsequently the need of executive like Chief Digital Officer is a no-brainer.

The recent times have seen the rise of the Chief Digital Officer, who sits next to CEO and is seen as instrumental to the future of the organization.

Traditionally, for the past several years digital was looked up as ownership of the marketing function, responsible for driving the organization’s online presence and connecting with customers, but now it is every department that has to contribute to digital enablement of customer journeys.

The spike in demand for Chief Digital Officers has been felt globally to drive digital across the organization.

Some of the CDO responsibilities are as below but not limited to:
  • Define the digital strategy
  • Map the digital capabilities to business strategy
  • Leads digital transformation and customer centricity
  • Providing detailed analysis of industry trends and developments in technology and customer behavior, both inside and outside the business sector
  • Deliver analytics across customer touch points to enable better business decisions and enhance the customer experience  
  • Use of all the digital transformation technologies like Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, Internet of Things, API, UX etc.
  • Responsible for the strategy for digital consumers, identify and implement relevant Omni-channel solutions 
  • Embark on use of latest trends of Robotics, Drones, Artificial Intelligence, Beacons or NFC based payments, Blockchain etc

As digital is becoming a norm, every CXO will have to integrate their business and benefit from the CDO’s efforts.

Over the next decade, the Chief Digital Officer will be very exciting and strategic role for going near to customers.

Some of the well-known brand’s CDOs who have steered their companies on digital are:
  •  Adam Brotman of Starbucks
  • Ganesh Bell of GE
  • Daniel Heaf of Burberry
  • Atif Rafiq of McDonald's
  • Lubomira Rochet of L’Oreal

The true measure of a CDO’s success is when the role becomes redundant, as a high-functioning digital company does not need a CDO.


  1. I was wondering how the organization tech budget kitty would be split proportionately between IT and Digital. Who would get a lion's share CDO or CTO?

  2. going forward the budgets will be driven by business. so CMO, CFO will have more money than CTO. CDO as covering business first will get more share.


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