Digital has changed our world. It has changed consumers and it is changing business. You need that represented at the executive level. Some call it a Chief Digital Officer (CDO), others a Chief Customer Officer. Whatever the name, you need an understanding of digital and connected business on your board. Finding those people is hard. It is even harder to pay for another full-time executive. Instead, consider outsourcing the position.
What we offer is not a simple transformation of an analog business or process into a digital process. We rather help you analyzing your strategy and business and help you find ways to make it better, more efficient supported by digital technologies.
Does this sound familiar? You work at an organisation made up of a variety of business silos, each doing their own thing. A growing number of these silos are realising they have fallen behind in digital adoption and customer expectations.
The response to this crisis varies widely depending on the silo. Some teams are burying their heads in the sand. Others are madly centralising, building in-house digital capabilities. Still others, are appointing chief digital officers, but then failing to resource them properly.
The one consistency across all of these silos is that nobody is talking or working effectively together.
Once organisations didn’t take digital seriously. Today the issue is that they lack coordination in their approach.
Part of the problem is that organisations are seeking to ‘implement digital” organisation-wide in one go. They look at companies like Google and Facebook, where digital is ubiquitous in much the same way as electricity, and they are seeking to emulate them.
However, there is a big difference between a company being born in the digital era and those seeking to adopt digital into an existing business model. Even electricity wasn’t always ubiquitous, and organisations had to learn how to embrace it.
In the early days of electricity, organisations appointed Chief Electricity Officers. People who were responsible for helping their organisations integrate electricity into their operations and get the most from it.
For example, it was relatively straightforward for factories to rip out their waterwheels and steam power to replace it with electricity. However, it took over a decade for companies to realise they didn’t need to build their factories by the water. Instead, they could relocate nearer rail links and major roads. They had electricity, but they didn’t realise its full potential.
The same is true for organisations today. They have ripped out traditional advertising and replaced it with digital channels, but they have stopped there. They don’t see the bigger picture, because everybody is looking at things in their silos. That is why organisations need chief digital officers.
Organisations should not see chief digital officers as a permanent position, like say, a chief experience officer (another one of the newer senior roles). Instead, it is a transitional role, just like a chief electricity officer was.
The idea of a chief digital officer will be just as comical in the future as a chief electricity officer is today. Eventually, digital will be ubiquitous, but we need strong leadership for our organisations to get there.
It is also not going to happen without at least some degree of centralisation initially. That is the only way a new culture, operating procedures and skills are going to get established.
Unfortunately, that is an uncomfortable fact for many companies. Individual silos are often reluctant to relinquish control over digital because it has become business-critical. That is why a chief digital officer is such an urgent appointment and organisations have to get it right.
Reach out and let’s discuss your needs and ideas. Let’s find a way to support you