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Fire the CIO - hire the CDO says CA Technologies

28 Nov 13

Digital is becoming an increasingly important and strategic element of business but it is yet to be fully embraced or understood.

That's the key message from the CA Technologies IT Forum in Auckland yesterday, where the company called on business leaders to embrace evolving digital technologies and make room for Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) to run their own race within the organisation.

Re-enforcing the company's recent research paper – Digital Enterprise: The role of the CDO – CA Technologies CMO Dan McDermott revealed that almost half (47%) of the Australian senior leaders believe that the role of the CDO is becoming more important to their business.

As a result, McDermott predicts the mind-shift is likely to see many of the technology-based roles traditionally held by the CIO becoming the responsibility of the CDO.

According to the study, overwhelming 69% of respondents said that digital is a strategic element of their business, highlighting ‘customer engagement’ (22%) and ‘increasing market share’ (21%) as the key reasons.

Around 45% of Australian organisations currently have a CDO, with a further 14% reporting that they expect to fill this role in the next few years.

Of those without a CDO, 37% feel that the effect is a lack of responsiveness, leading to the company being slower to market. Further, 19% highlighted ‘missed business and investment opportunities’ as a consequence of not employing a CDO.

Despite growing acceptance and confidence in the CDO role, the survey indicates that business executives are still conflicted by where the responsibility for certain tasks lie.

When asked who they would turn to for advice on ‘mobile’ and ‘app development’, the responses were closely divided between CIO and CDO. This suggests that the CDO role is currently neither properly articulated nor understood. However, the CDO role is likely to take on more significance in the coming years and as understanding improves.

“It’s clear from this research that if businesses stick with the status quo and don’t prepare themselves for a digital mind-shift now, they’ll fall behind," added Bill McMurray, MD, CA Technologies ANZ.

"Worse still, they may lose market share because the services they provide to their customers aren’t being deployed in a fast, engaging way. That’s where digital can help.

“CA Technologies regularly works with organisations to provide the solutions they needto deliver value to the business.

"Additionally, we provide the information or metrics to articulate that value successfully.

"As we see CDOs becoming more involved with their business colleagues and in business strategy, the ability to communicate the value of new technologies will become even more important.”

Will the role of the CIO be replaced by the CDO? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below