Who is a Chief Digital Officer?
Written By: Pavithra Desikan

The digital transformation has crept up slowly, steadily and is here to stay. The ability of an organization to keep hold of its market is based on its ability to keep up with this change and lead the employees forward with clear concise plan. While the C-suite executives drive the business in the organization, oversee day-to-day implementations, and direct the company’s market research efforts, a special acumen is needed to merge the everyday business into the digital space. And this is where the Chief Digital Officer steps in. 

 A CDO is responsible for combining the business arena with digital technologies, merging the data and the observations to the organizational agenda. In order to effectively promote this phenomenon, the CDO has to strategically combine the process, technology and the people so that the vision of the business remains focused. Which effectively conveys that a CDO has to have a good grasp of all the departments in the organization, like the HR, Sales, Marketing, Technology, Communication, Operations and so on. 


What does a CDO do? 

 Initiate the change. The CDO is a digital thought leader who implements the change in culture, break down silos, influence people across the organization, and establish digital strategy across a large-scale enterprise while never losing control over the numbers. For example, moving the analog finance records of an organization to digital files. This involves a bulk of files to be transitioned, with sensitive information as well. A CDO is the mastermind behind all aspects involved in such movement. 

 Maintain a broader perspective. The CDO has to eventually spread the digitalization process across multiple departments in the establishment, by aligning the culture, strategy, technology and user experience. This involves a very broad vision of agile processes, new technologies and revamping the system pan organization. 

 Technical vision. Having to rely on technologies to enhance digital solutions, indicates the CDO has to be adept with the varied tentacles of technologies, be it E-commerce, online transactional platforms, digital marketing, social media experience and so on. For instance, in a buying centre type situation where the CDO is working with a BI implementation partner like Systech, the CDO’s vision is pivotal in influencing communication within the organization, smoothening the transition and working out the kinks.  

 Customer-centric approach. The prime focus of any business is to make the client experience pleasant and efficient. The CDO emphasises on the digital user experience, address the customer’s sore spots and ramp up the system to make it customer friendly and in turn, maximise the profits. 


In the post-pandemic world, the digital initiative has become mandatory. Studies attest to the fact that the presence of the CDO ensures the development is apace with the technological advancements in the current era. The digital advantage that can enter the organization through this shift will benefit the entire workforce. But the fulcrum is the CDO, who is a strong influencer, with an innovative mindset, and a visionary with enough digital maturity to apply relevant strategies and programs to see through the digital transformation into the core of their business. 


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