The Case for Chief Digital Officer

Few roles attract as much attention as that of the chief digital officer, or CDO. That according to the strategy consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The Chief Digital Officer has morphed in recent years from leading a handful of digital initiatives to serving more as Transformer-in-Chief. These days digital touches everything in business — how and where we work, how we deliver products and services, and what products and services must become. The Chief Digital Officer orchestrates company-wide massive change  . . . and he or she must make be capable of doing so quickly.

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Chief Digital Officer In Demand

According to McKinsey, the number of executives in Chief DIgital Officers roles doubled from 2013 to 2014. While the final numbers are still being tallied, they are expected to have doubled again in 2015. They are rising due to simple realization. Companies bring in Chief Digital Officers when they realize digital isn’t simply a thing: it is a way of doing things.

Chief Digital Officer Reimagining

McKinsey advises companies must do more than develop a digital strategy. They must focus on integrating digital into all aspects of the business. Digital channels, workflows, and data must become part of a company’s operating model and very identity.  Its corporate culture must be digital down to its DNA. Digital is the new mantra and mandate because it impacts the bottom line. It transforms companies into top performers. In other words, Chief DIgital Officers are more than Transformers-in-Chief. They are saviors. Companies that fail to hire Chief Digital Officers do so at their peril.