I recently read a great article by Ashley Friedlein, ‘Why a Chief Digital Officer is a bad idea’. While I completely respect his opinion, I do disagree.
Ashley Friedlein is the CEO and Co-founder of Econsultancy. He is a great author, highly successful entrepreneur and digital catalyst.
I have enjoyed much of his ideas, knowledge and rhetoric. I was prompted to be a signatory on his ‘Modern Marketing Manifesto’, and I encourage all digital enthusiasts to do the same.
The rise of the Chief Digital Officer has so far been most noticeable in the USA with a number of large companies appointing them.
The perceived need for a CDO is typically to try and accelerate digital transformation and to bridge the divide that can exist between the CMO and CIO.
Gartner recently predicted that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. Much of that technology is for digital and ecommerce initiatives.
If the CMO is not comfortable with these new responsibilities, a CDO is seen as a solution.