Why Organizations Need a CDO

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 12-05-2013 Email Print this article Print

If you haven't convinced the C-suite to invest in the position of a chief digital officer (CDO), then you risk falling far behind on a number of critical, competitive drivers, according to a recent survey from the Apigee Institute. The accompanying report, "The Three Keys to Digital Transformation," makes a strong case that creating such a position—in addition to launching other efforts to support this transformation—translates to greater market share, customer satisfaction and profitability. Ultimately, there are three, key organizational qualities that lead to a thriving state of digital sophistication, according to Apigee. These qualities are: an organization-wide commitment to communicating a complete and actionable digital vision; strong leadership that can explain complex ideas in a simple but compelling manner; and a culture of disciplined experimentation that quickly shifts according to changing market demands. Apigee specializes in mobile products for global enterprises, with customers such as Shell, Walgreens and eBay. In addition to the survey findings, the report includes the following "four CDO candidates to avoid." More than 320 executives in the U.S., U.K. and India participated in the research. For more about the survey, click here.

  • Market Dominators

    71% of companies that outperform the competition in terms of market share are "digital leaders," as are 70% of organizations that exceed competitors on customer and partner satisfaction.
    Market Dominators
  • Cash Flow

    67% of companies that outperform competitors in gross revenues are digital leaders, as are 65% of organizations which claim the same about profit margins.
    Cash Flow
  • Widespread Impact

    70% of digital leader companies expect to see their digital transformation make a positive impact on employee performance, product portfolio and customer efforts.
    Widespread Impact
  • A Key Objective

    More than eight of 10 say that digital transformation is a top priority among their most senior executives, while less than half of "digital dabblers," who are lagging behind, say the same.
    A Key Objective
  • 20/20 Vision

    87% say there is a compelling vision for digital transformation at their companies, but less than 50% of digital dabblers agree.
    20/20 Vision
  • The Buck Stops Here

    CEOs at about one-third of digital leader companies take personal accountability for these efforts, compared to just 11% of CEOs at digital dabblers.
    The Buck Stops Here
  • Up to the Task

    83% have explicitly and formally appointed someone to lead digital transformation, such as a CDO, yet only 50% of dabblers have done the same.
    Up to the Task
  • Four CDO Candidates to Avoid: The Tech Whiz

    While being a hotshot programmer is nice, it's more important to inspire action and mobilize support. Leading requires more than doing.
    Four CDO Candidates to Avoid: The Tech Whiz
  • Four CDO Candidates to Avoid: The Daredevil

    Experimentation is good. But an effective CDO takes smart risks, backed by validation, instead of reckless ones.
    Four CDO Candidates to Avoid: The Daredevil
  • Four CDO Candidates to Avoid: The Theorist

    As opposed to daredevils, theorists drown themselves into data, reports, books, research and more research instead of taking decisive action.
    Four CDO Candidates to Avoid: The Theorist
  • Four CDO Candidates to Avoid: Fan Boy

    Fan boys aren't good at acquiring tech because, well, they want to buy everything. You need a CDO who shops with a discerning business leader's mindset.
    Four CDO Candidates to Avoid: Fan Boy
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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