CIOs will build their reputations as a digital innovation leader in 2015 and make chief digital officers unnecessary – or be replaced by a CIO who is up to the challenge, CIO UK reported on Wednesday November 12 following a review of some research from analyst house Forrester.
"As businesses pursue digital transformation and customer obsession, their CIOs will build their reputation as a digital innovation leader," Forrester said, but readers of the CIO.co.uk title disagree.
"They are suggesting that certain CIO's will simply take on more of a CDO role anyway. Therefore we may see a new role description on Resumes with the title CIO/CDO," said Will O'Donnell a recruiter and director with Rullion Leadership Practice.
Another recruiter added: "The reason CDOs have gained so much traction is because not enough CIOs have made the transition to digital.
Key statistic - only 3% of FTSE 350 have 'digitally savvy' boards. Therefore, a shake-up is required, whether by the current CIO or a new CDO," said Sam Burman of Redgrave Partners.
While industry watcher and former CIO James Herbert was accurate in saying: "The capability is required but not necessarily the role." A point re-iterated by David Clark Innovation, Improvement and Information Group Director at Northern Gas Networks: "I don't care what you call someone as long as they understand what a hyper connected world means and how to flourish in this world. CIO or CDO who bloody cares!!!!"
"There is too much emphasis put on one person to deliver the correct metabolic rate of innovation and change - we seem to want to compartmentalise the activity. Without the correct culture and support from all angles it is a forlorn task," said Craig Wright of IBM.
John Goode, formerly head of digital at the University of Surrey added: "It's not a war of C-level titles that's needed, it the capability-set. If your CIO cannot be found in Social Media for example, it's likely to correlate to their Digital will and skill.
CIO UK Editor in Chief Mark Chillingworth responded to the debate, "I'd like to thank everyone that took the time to read the article and debate so frankly this potential change to the CIO community. As I said in my recent editorial blog and as some of you have re-iterated: Digital has to be embraced into the culture of organisations and by embracing digital culture you may also develop and innovative culture. A digitally innovative culture will definitely create an important asset base of information."