As digital transformation has run its course and most companies successfully join the digitization bandwagon, the CDO’s role is becoming redundant. Where are the rest of the technology roles headed?
The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) roles are vanishing from today’s workforce. Some conversations have even renamed the CDO as “Chief Disappearing Officer” because businesses are either merging the job responsibilities with other roles or abolishing the role from their workforce.
Earlier during the inception of this job role in the enterprise, it was designed to be a permanent role rather than a temporary one with a limited lifespan. But ironically, the best CDOs are themselves the reason for their disappearance from the global workforce. Their expertise has ensured that they are no longer necessary since they successfully created digital platforms for their companies, and no one needs their skills anymore.
Why is the role of the CDO so ephemeral?
One of the most significant reasons CDO’s job role is so transient is its design. The enterprises classified this job role as a transformational one that assisted them in scaling them in the digital environment. The fundamental characteristic of any transformation is that it has a lifecycle that starts and ends with an objective. Many industry veterans suggest that the greatest CDOs that honestly did a phenomenal transformational job actually made their jobs unnecessary.
Another probable reason this job role went obsolete is that enterprises reviewed this role as a solution to profound differences between technology integrated by the CIOs and other job roles. The CIOs were responsible for concentrating on technology and requesting alignment between IT and other business units. The job description of the CDO involved unifying the different verticals of the organization through data and data-driven technologies and assisting business leaders in making the most out of the technology implemented.
The recent pandemic shifted the entire business paradigm and forced them to quickly merge technology, business, and transformation. The entire global workforce was forced to adapt to months or years of technological transformation in a shorter span to keep the enterprises operating smoothly.
The CDOs played a crucial role as catalysts in this transformational journey to accomplish the business goals when the pandemic created havoc around the world.
Will the CIOs disappear next?
Will the CIO also vanish as the CDOs did? As trends like cloud computing, hybrid networks, and everything as a service are emerging, the Chief Information Officer may also soon be redundant and certainly not necessary for a c-level position?
The best CIO has the expertise to spot, understand and implement advanced technologies with the ability to manage their tech infrastructure and live projects. The requirement of the CIO in an organization is the result of the gap between these two areas, and its application to a broader business perspective.
Enterprises today require robust technology and digital transformation not only to operate smoothly but also to scale their business and stay ahead of the competition. The business leaders across all the industries will always need the expertise of the technology leader, who will support the building of digitally-enabled business processes to make revenue, increase the profit margin or enhance the organization’s mission.
The role of the CIO may get transformed or watered down, but the industries will always need the skillsets, knowledge, and expertise of a chief information officer to scale the business.