The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is a relatively new role created across all industries to promote digital transformation initiatives. The CDO’s mission is to shake up organizations, call for innovation and change, and seek new revenue through information-based services.
However, IDC has found that in only 25 percent of organizations throughout Europe, the Middle-East, and Africa, is it the CDO who is leading enterprise-wide digital transformation initiatives. Clearly defining the role and tasks as part of an organization in partnership with the CIO is a key factor for the success of this mission. Therefore, IDC has developed a framework, sponsored by the software company SAP, to guide the CDO’s digital ambitions. A scorecard identifies five different dimensions that serve to assess which new types of KPIs might be relevant for their organizations. The scorecard should ultimately form the basis for the review of the CDO’s ongoing performance.
Depending on where an organization stands in its digital journey, the CDO has a different role to play – IDC calls for executives to define what “type” of CDO they are – each type having their own agenda by which to measure their success.
In organizations that have only just started their digitization initiatives, the CDO takes on the role of the “Evangelist”. He builds awareness within the organization, has high visibility but often little operational impact.
“Digital Champions” have a digital innovation structure in place and begin to draw revenue from information-based services. However, it is only the fully developed “Digital GM” who disruptively uses digital technologies and business models to affect markets. It is an environment of continuous innovation that leads to the creation and transformation of a significant business or business unit. These executives focus on the growth of digital within the company and the transition of major businesses into digital.
Whereas the role can entail some organizational friction, IDC has found that those companies are most successful in their digital journey where CDO and CIO form a special partnership and share the digital vision of the company. So how do CDOs and CIOs find these complementary roles that help executives focus on generating new revenue streams based on digitally enhanced products, services and experiences?