Chief Digital Officer: long-term trend or fad?
Some folks say the CMO will soon control huge swaths of the technology budget. Others say CIOs will hold their ground. A slightly different take on the subject is marked by the rise of Chief Digital Officer titles.
Computerworld examines the job--typically focused on implementation of customer-facing and revenue-generating systems--by interviewing several newly crowned CDOs and asking whether the title has staying power. Spoiler: If there's a consensus, the answer is "no". The money quote from Gartner analyst Mark McDonald:
"It's perfectly natural to create a C-level role when the technology is new, but as the organization builds an understanding of that technology, it works its way back into core operations. You can be a digital company without having a CDO."
But that's not to say the role isn't regarded as necessary at the current moment. CDOs are being hired in companies that need to accelerate their growth in digital content management, ecommerce, marketing automation, and other key areas, according to a recent blog post by Dominic Byrne on eConsultancy.
The Fierce Take: IT-marketing collaboration is the way to go; if a CDO is necessary to make that happen, so be it. However, CIOs might want to hot-foot it down the path described by McDonald, building these competencies "back into core operations."
More about marketing, CDOs and technology:
Kill the UX department? Just be sure to build one first
Gartner's Digital Marketing Transit Map runs by CIOs, doesn't stop
Building a bridge to marketing