Chief digital officers in demand

The role of Chief digital officer is becoming more important within businesses as they fight to compete in the new digital age.

The quarterly Executive Monitor from Boyden Global Executive Search found that organisations are hiring more CDOs and elevating them in importance to ‘forge new initiatives and digital strategies, build market share and challenge the status quo’. 

At present 25 per cent of businesses worldwide have a CDO mainly in the advertising, media and technology sectors. There are 1,000 CDOs worldwide, compared to only 225 in 2012, with the number expected to double over the next 12 months to 2,000 as other industries such as government and non-profit add their skills. 

“A CDO is a digitally savvy, business-driven leader who has what it takes to transform a traditional business into a data-driven company,” said Pierre Fouques Duparc, leader of Boyden’s Global Technology Practice and managing partner, Boyden France. “They combine marketing and management experience with technical know-how and strategic vision to align and improve business operations across the enterprise.”

Roger Duguay, managing partner at Boyden Montreal, added: “The best CDOs are curious, flexible, adaptable, have a view into the future, and are at ease in a change environment. For many companies, CDOs are also effectively taking on the role of Chief Transformation Officer, with the goal of challenging the status quo and taking the business to the next level. Our clients want CDOs who bring fresh insight and know what needs to be done, even if they have never done it before.”

Dinesh Mirchandani, managing partner of Boyden India said the CDO’s role is a large one guiding and navigating a business through the ‘storm of digital transformation’.
He added: “The CDO’s new role allows the CMO to continue with the core task of ensuring a healthy presence in markets, while the CIO remains in charge of managing enterprise IT. When the CDO, CMO and CIO work together as a team, the organization will emerge wiser and stronger than before.”

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