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Chief Digital Officer in seven moves


How can I become a CDO? A test from the USA will help you understand if you have the abilities required to become your company’s Chief Digital Officer

“What must I do to become a CDO?”. Since I started taking an interest in the position of the Chief Digital Officer, writing about it on this blog and talking  with my colleagues, I have been asked this question several times by email, comments to posts or directly, a question that I have often asked myself and have submitted to real CDOs (from the other side of the Ocean).

The Chief Digital Officer’s assignment is tailor-made. He’s a playmaker between the CIO, CTO e CMO, he must interpret his role starting from the company’ specific mission and from the sector in which he works, he surfs the digital wave and manages every IT tool that can be useful for procedure management and marketing. This might sound like he’s an all-knowing genius, but all he actually needs to be is intelligent in the Latin sense of the word (intus-legere). Because he must know how to read and interpret what is going on using the digital and IT-age lens. His innovative nature consists precisely in this: he must not invent the wheel, but rather know that it exists and how it works, so he can understand  how his company can use it for its business.

How can you learn how to become a CDO? A post by Banktech provides a lesson in installments that describes what must be done by a Chief Digital Officer within the first 90 days after he’s taken office. The exercise simply consists in taking in the seven KPIs in order to understand if you can observe them, if you have the necessary skills, the suitable tools and also if your company has the right physique du rôle to afford a Chief Digital Officer. Have a go at it and good luck!

  • Develop an understanding of the business strategy and serve as an agent of change that challenges the status quo, but do not bulldoze over an organization’s longstanding culture.
  • Build strong coalitions across operations, IT (specifically delivery and architecture), analytics, customer and marketing.
  • Quickly understand the brand and its differences across different product suites. Determine if it can be enhanced through transformation projects.
  • Develop a clear picture of the digital future for the organization. Consider market forces, such as high customer expectations shaped by nontraditional financial services providers like Google, Yahoo and PayPal. Build the case for change and share it with leadership.
  • Design a pragmatic roadmap for implementing the vision. Be open to evolve the program based on input and changing market dynamics, but never lose sight of the overall goals.
  • Provide flawless execution by being on time, within scope and on delivery. In partnership with operations and IT, deliver quick, early wins flawlessly to build trust.
  • Listen, learn, assess and iterate. Commit to regular reviews of the roadmap and learn from each launch. Apply lessons learned to every evolution of your plan.


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