The Chief Digital Officer is not the only driver of digital transformation

by bold-lichterman

It’s no longer a secret, digital is a major subject for most companies, whatever their size or sector. Indeed, more than 8 out of 10 executives declare that it is one of their strategic priorities for the year. On the other hand, only 27% of companies say they have an internal Chief Digital Officer, and 18% a Chief Data Officer, according to the results of the last “Chief Digital / Data Officer barometer“, executed in partnership with Criteo, Digital Jobs, Novametrie, Salesforce and Viseo. Another lesson from the study, 62% of respondents believe that their organization is adapted to the challenges of digital transformation.

Carried out with 314 business leaders during the summer, the study provides an overview of practices in digital transformation.

39% of “immature” companies in digital

First observation, in terms of digital transformation, the first motivation of companies is the creation of value (at 42%), followed closely by the re-enchantment of the customer experience (at 37%). A little more than one in five companies also see it as a way to improve its internal processes. As a direct consequence of this, 80% of current projects aim to ensure that the company is “data-driven”, The remaining 20% ​​aim to shift digital from corporate strategy to its direct application in the customer experience.

Another observation is that a little less than a third of companies today manage to create value thanks to digital technology, and it is mainly large groups that achieve this, if we are to believe the authors of the study. Conversely, 39% of companies are today “immature” in terms of digital. The remaining 29% are today in a process of transformation (19%) or experimentation (10%).


New ways of working, evolution of governance: the contribution of CDOs

To drive this transformation within companies, just over a quarter of respondents opted for the creation of an internal Chief Digital Officer position. For 40% of the companies concerned, it was a natural development within the organization, and for 39% a major change that should be considered as such. For a little more than one in five companies, the creation of this type of function is a revolution likely to upset its fundamentals.

Changes in the way employees collaborate (at 85%), recruiting of new talents (at 81%), or even changes in governance (at 74%): the creation of a CDO position has indeed direct consequences on the operation of a business.

However, we regret that the authors of the study do not specify whether they have identified a link between the maturity of a digital company and the presence of an internal CDO. The only information provided by the study on this subject: 38% of mid-sized companies (so-called “experiential” companies in the digital world) have a Chief Digital Officer (this is more than the average for all companies combined).

The Chief Data Officer, new digital star in business

If the Chief Digital Officer serves as a symbol of digital transformation, another profile is emerging within companies, the Chief Data Officer. More technical than the digital manager, the Chief Data Officer is attached to the information systems department in 23% of cases.

At present, 18% of the companies questioned within the framework of the study declare to have created this type of position, they are 23% to declare that they will have done it in 2017. Asked on the question, 87% of the respondents believe that in the long term the function of Chief Data Officer should become more widespread.

In terms of data, the stakes are indeed high for companies. Beyond the interest for their business of a good use of their data, companies must today be able to guarantee a sufficient level of protection of the data of their users, including when it is transferred to abroad.

** Methodology: survey carried out from June 3 to August 31, 2016 among 314 executives. 49% of them work in services, 27% in industry, 19% in the commerce sector, and 5% in the public sector. 18% of respondents are CDOs, 17% CEOs, 16% CIOs, 11% CMOs, and 1% CCOs. The remaining 28% hold other types of unspecified positions. Finally, 49% of respondents work in companies with more than a billion euros in turnover.

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