Many companies hire a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) before completely defining the role. Below are a few perspectives on what the CDO is all about.
McKinsey says that the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is now a “transformer in chief,” charged with coordinating and managing comprehensive changes that address everything from updating how a company works to building out entirely new businesses.
Olivier Naimi, a Web consultant and evangelist, says that the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is responsible for digital consumer experiences across all business touch points. The CDO supervises all aspects of digital media, including strategic alignment with marketing plans and the core brand.
Mark Baker, author of the Chief Digital Officer Handbook, says that the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) has a board-level mandate to define transformative strategy across multiple silos—not just to create a separate silo to implement it.
TechTarget says that a chief digital officer (CDO) is a C-level executive charged with helping a business transform its traditional information technology (IT) policies.
Chan Suh, Chief Digital Officer at Prophet, says that CDOs are seen as the people who can step in to fill gaps and deficiencies while simultaneously bridging conflicts between marketing and technology.
Executive recruiter Russell Reynolds Associates says that the Chief Digital Officer is a senior executive who sits at the right hand of the CEO. The CDO needs to be someone who not only has digital acumen but also is a seasoned general manager who can operate within a large-scale business and influence effectively across the organization.
Management consulting firm Janco Associates says a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) helps a company drive growth by converting traditional "analog" businesses to digital ones, and oversees operations in rapidly changing digital sectors like mobile applications, social media and related applications, virtual goods, as well as web-based information management and marketing.
Mary Mesaglio, research vice-president at Gartner, says that a CIO is like a Samurai, behaving according to a set of rules and a code of conduct. In contrast, a CDO is like a Ninja, a highly unorthodox fighter, better at dealing with an unconventional enemy.
MIT’s research scientist George Westermann says that the CDO’s job is to turn the digital cacophony into a symphony. The CDO creates a unifying digital vision, energizes the company around digital possibilities, coordinates digital activities, helps to rethink products and processes for the digital age, and sometimes provides critical tools or resources.