Until the 1990s technological management of a company was a field for technicians and middle managers, who were mainly in charge of purchases and systems' maintenance. And before the arrival of the year 2000 large corporations incorporated the figure of the Chief Innovation Officer or CIO basically the CEO of innovation, whose objectives were basically two: efficiency and process automation.
The resulting transformation of the digital economy implies that any companies' organization has to go a step further to adapt and respond appropriately to the challenges and opportunities it poses.
Companies that have understood this new paradigm know that besides the Chief Innovation Officer, there are more missing pieces on their organizational charts: Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Chief Cyber Security Officer (CSSO), Chief Data Officer (CDO) and Chief Experience Officer (CXO). All of them are part of the leadership layer, known as the c-suite.
To know which functions have each of these profiles is not easy. In this post we want to explain them:
This post is also available in Spanish.
New essential roles in the digital company
1. Chief Innovation Officer (CIO)
The CIO role is a position whose function is, broadly explained, driving innovation throughout an organization to increase efficiency, identify new markets and/or develop ideas arised within a company by intrapreneurs. CIOs must be attentive to the innovations that occur inside and outside the company, analyze what contribution each of them can weigh to the business and, where deemed advisable, develop them.
2. Chief Digital Officer (CDO)
While the CDO has clearly defined its functions with respect to the CIO, because its scope is strictly digital and not as broad as that of innovation officers, the Chief Digital Officer is the new role that can unsettle and lead CIO's towards a continuous recycling and improvement. Its role, broadly speaking, is to promote digital transformation and think holistically in the strategies that companies must deploy through their different digital channels.
In a world in which, just over the next seven years, 1,000 million of digital natives that is, people who since childhood have operated in the digital environment, will be integrated into the labor market, it is not difficult to understand why you should incorporate this figure in any company. That's why the number of CDOs in the world has risen from just 52 in 2010 to over 1,000 in 2014, the Korn Ferry Institute has considered it the third most demanded business role in 2015, and The Economic Times the sixth highest paid profile in organizations.
3. Chief Cyber Security Officer (CSSO)
Also known as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), its main function is to manage and, above all, ensure the security of the digital infrastructure of a company. In a moment of rise of cyber-attacks, in which hackers sabotage is a significant challenge for companies that develop the bulk of their business in the digital environment, the CSSO performs a critical function when deciding which codes and security protocols will govern all internal and external information available to the company.
4. Chief Data Officer (CDO)
All companies that think of using the data generated both internally (employees) and externally (customers) to extract valuable information that helps make better decisions and positive impact on their business, should incorporate a Chief Data Officer. This professional is responsible for extracting relevant information from all data generated by the company. Its main tasks are to determine what information is interesting for the company, to develop and implement strategies for capturing and analyzing data, and to identify new business opportunities figured out through that data analysis.
5. Chief Experience Officer (CXO)
Improving customer experience is an unresolved issue in many companies that are already moving forward in their digital transformation. Although we all have heard of the importance of placing the customer at the center of organizations, and that their needs should guide business decisions in companies, the truth is that not many consider include UX professionals within the leadership team, as an active part of the mentioned c-suite.
Having a Chief Experience Officer within the management team is nowadays absolutely essential. The CXO is responsible for the user experience of the organization and its role is very important as it acts as a bridge between the design, strategy and development departments. He/she defines and implements the UX strategy, namely: planning and leading customer research, conducting usability tests, conducting product prototypes, etc. In short, he/she is in charge of discovering the needs of customers/users and lead the adjustment of products and services to their expectations.
They may have to pass many years for your company to incorporate this multiplicity of roles in the areas of innovation and technology. But it is a fact that in our new digital world, to innovate and use the latest technology is no longer an option.
This post is also available in Spanish.
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