Should Companies Embrace CDO Creation?

cdoIt’s no secret that businesses and their IT departments across the country are taking advantage of emerging technology. In an effort to make the most out of any innovations that they employ, companies have created a new kind of position so that they can actually apply the solutions they are trying to utilize.

While some organizations have just upped their expectations for their chief information officers and tech staff, others have opted to design an independent entity that can act as a liaison between branches of their businesses.

Evolving tech prompts change in IT employment
As some professionals may have already heard, the further that companies incorporate sophisticated tools into a variety of functions, the more demand there is for technology personnel who are also business-savvy. For this reason, a number of corporations have been putting more pressure on their CIOs. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common for these IT executives to boast multiple job titles, prompting them to take on a wide range of duties. These responsibilities even include ones not conventionally related to the tech work to which CIOs have become accustomed.

Although there are a growing number of instances in which IT executives assume additional, business-focused positions, there is another trend that may soon start gaining steam. Instead of having CIOs tack on supplementary titles to their employment repertoire, some companies are beginning to feature new posts that embody a blend of traditional IT tasks as well as those that have other applications throughout their overall operations.

The position – aptly named “chief digital officer” – is predicted to become more and more prominent, especially as the virtual world continues to be integrated in the realm of everything business-related. However, organizations adopting this position may find that it is best to ensure that this role remains fluid – for the time being, anyway.

Birth of the chief digital officer explained that companies and their tech staff members are implementing various technologies at different rates. On top of that, the solutions themselves are constantly evolving, which requires the IT professionals handling these tools to demonstrate changing skill sets. For this reason, individual corporations’ demands for CDOs are anything but fixed, making the duties tied to this emerging position vary greatly from company to company.

With that said, some elements of this job’s description are going to be consistent across the board. For one thing, candidates filling these posts must be well-versed in both the world of business and IT. Because they have to juggle responsibilities normally attributed to one field or the other, these staff members will have to up their game and be more well-rounded in terms of their talents.

Additionally, they will have to reach a more comprehensive understanding of their organizations’ vision so that they can work to improve their employers’ operations as a whole. This greatly contrasts with positions of the past, in which IT professionals were able to carry out their allotted tasks with a narrower and more specialized perspective. By having a broader view on company functions and end goals, CDOs will be better equipped to serve different sections of their company, in addition to supporting their IT departments.

CDOs aren’t right for everyone
Despite the fact that many corporations are contemplating creating a CDO role within their staff, some have reservations – and rightfully so. stated that in most cases, this position will not necessarily carry much power. Unlike CIOs, chief digital officers are not likely to make any decisions in terms of the technology used throughout an organization. Instead, these IT professionals are likely to just work with whatever a company has in place, performing analytics to business data and supporting the functions of CIOs, CMOs and all other tech personnel.

Because CDOs are there mainly to backup other staff members and ensure that they are on the right track when it comes to technology, some companies do not deem them necessary. According to CMS Wire, not every IT department can benefit from adding this position.

If businesses already have enough resources among the IT executives they have in place, then these professionals are probably capable of filling the CDO role themselves. These high-ranking tech personnel may have a clear vision of the digital transformation they want for their businesses, knowing the actions needed to be taken to get them there. In such cases, companies should work with what they have before taking on new IT professionals.

Marie Larsen
Marie is a writer for She has an educational background in languages and literature. She covers IT trends and executive technology management topics for the company.