According to Gartner's data only 6 percent of companies have a Chief Digital Officers at the time of this article, but they are "springing up faster than we can count them," says Aron. Some of Gartner's key findings in their research on the CDO role:
The early CIO survey evidence suggests that just under 40 percent of Chief Digital Officers are strategic advisors to the board and CEO on digital business strategy, just over 40 percent are digital marketing officers, and the rest have other digital-related roles.
Companies and public sector agencies that have Chief Digital Officers are much more focused on growth (relative to cost efficiency) than their counterparts without one
Companies that have Chief Digital Officers are three times as likely to do more insourcing next year.
Earlier this year Gartner forecasted that by 2015, 25 percent of businesses will employ a CDO. It went on to predict that 20 percent of CIOs have already begun to take on the role of the CDO.
6 Keys to Success
According to Apigee's research, 83 percent of top digitally performing companies have an explicitly and formally appointed digital leader. In the company surveyed more than 300 IT and marketing executives in companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue and identified what they feel are the keys to the success for the CDO position. These habits were determined by survey analysis of the traits that correlated to both market success and to perceived internal success at digital transformation.
1. Earn company-wide commitment
Getting everyone on board with the digital vision can be a huge task with internal politics and an ever-changing technological landscape. "Regardless of the role, the value of collaboration and getting buy-in is critical for any project to be successful. In large corporations like Lincoln Financial Group, it takes a very complex integrated group of skills to drive to our business solutions," says Blair.
2. Develop a digital strategy mission statement
"For Lincoln, the Chief Digital Officer role is a senior enterprise leader who is responsible for end-to-end strategy, design and implementation of our digital roadmap," says Blair.
3. Embrace data-based experimentation
In many ways the CDO is about the relationship between the data and the customer. According to the Apigee survey, successful digital leaders are three times as likely to use experimentation as a decision-making criterion for investments."
4. Connect with experts
The survey reported that seven out of 10 executives say their digital transformation leader has an especially strong network of business and technology innovators. The CDO doesn't necessarily have to be the smartest person in the room. In fact, the most successful CDOs surround themselves with a strong network of innovators and experts, according their data.
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