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The Role of the Chief Digital Officer on the Way to Success

Nowadays, more and more companies realize the importance of digital transformation. This need leads to an increasing extent of a demand for an “ad hoc” specialists, who could integrate innovative technologies into business processes and take the company to a new level. These particular employees called the Chief Digital Officer or CDO.

Companies that are looking for a worthy specialist should struggle for candidates who best match their strategic goals, the digital business model, advanced digital capabilities, and operations. In general, this is a difficult task. The CDO must understand the intricacies of the business, have excellent management skills and leadership qualities, as well as have a grip of steel, necessary to implement such a large-scale transformation.

The number of companies requiring a competent CDO exceeds the number of qualified candidates. To attract the best specialists, companies must define their strategy, management model, and transformational plan, which will allow the CDO to accomplish their tasks.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) highlighted five types of CDOs in companies.

Progressive Thinker

The first is the "Progressive Thinker." Its task is to determine how to transform a business through digitization and subsequent analysis of the entire data stream, inspire the team, build a digital strategy, and a complete update of the operating model.

Creative Destroyer

The second type is "Creative Destroyer." Such a person has a more practical approach to the continuous development of new digital technologies, as well as to the business models. It is especially useful for companies that have faced with the collapse of the existing business model, the state of stagnation, or requiring significant business process changes.

Client Defender

The third type is the "Client Defender." These are guys who are mainly focused on the market and meeting the needs of customers.

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Innovative Technologist

The fourth is an "Innovative Technologist." This type promotes the use of new technologies, providing a technological basis for digital business models, increasing internal efficiency, and seeking ways to reduce costs. It is mainly in demand in production companies for further optimization of supply chains and integration of digital technologies for such key stages as design and prototyping.


And last is the "Universalist." He usually leads the development of a digital strategy within the overall corporate strategy, creates new business models, produces in-depth analysis of digital marketing indicators and customer experience, implements digital technologies. Also, improves operational efficiency, digitizes the ways that employees perform their work and responsible for changes in the form of thinking. He is the one most far-sighted of the five types. Especially suitable for companies that are not adapted to the digital world and need a fast and comprehensive transformation.

Conditional divide by types does not mean that the company should choose a CDO of a particular type. Its role depends on the needs and specifics of the company and can combine features of various kinds.

Digital transformation is not just a technological trend - it is the transformation of society, the economy, and the way of thinking in general. It requires large-scale and internal changes. The task of CDO is to make these transformations as quickly and efficiently as possible in all possible ways.

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