CDO the new Data Leader – Will there be a CDMO?


While we are aware that CMO’s may spend more on IT than a CIO and this trend has been witnessed across the world in many organisation there are many questions about the CDO role like what would the role definition be. By 2020 more than 90% of the organisations will have a CDO, and by all means, most of them will be new to the role.

The question obviously will be; will there be a CDMO as well for the simple reason that the CMO’s and the CDO’s may be the highest consumers of Data and Analytics as perceived by CXOUSA. A CDMO could be an ideal position for small and mid-sized enterprises where affordability may be a concern. This emphasises on the fact that marketing function is going to expand in numerous ways widely and will play a crucial role in the digital transformation journey of matured organisations.  However, we see that the CMO role in digital transformation is highly underplayed currently.

Organisations are struggling with their EA (Enterprise Architecture) many of them battling the ageing legacy systems and access to structured data is becoming a challenge in the digital transformation journey. This, of course, is going to put the new CDO’s in a challenging position to grab grip on their preparations to be a successful CDO.  A CDO’s role may include preparation, assessing the current scenario in their organisation, Plan, Act, Measure and regularly communicating the new strategy with the organisation throughout their stint.

At CXOUSA, We potentially see a very high dependency of a CDO on the CIO for relevant data. To make the journey seamless for the CDO, the CIO’s many need to create their business architecture basis the business outcomes and work closely with the CDO’s. The future organisation may also require a good people and training strategy at the leadership level to enable smooth sail for the new CDO. A cultural shift to make it a data driven organisation needs to start at the grass root level with their talent management and acquisition teams. We have noticed that a few organisations have already started investing in earn while you learn programmes to create new Data scientists who could be groomed into become the future leader. Some of these organisations have foreseen the advent of Data and Analytics to be the key technology differentiator that one should bring in to make the organisation profitable in the future. The market today has a huge shortage of data scientists which also has paved the way for many analytic training institutions to bridge the skill gap.

Some of the key challenges in establishing a data-driven culture are:

  • Employee skills, newer and complex data tools
  • Higher expectation at the stakeholder level
  • EA practitioners may struggle to adapt to business needs and drive change
  • Overall organisational dynamics

While the Industry prediction of CDO to become next data leader may be true, it’s only time that could prove the mettle in the game.


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