With spending on digital-related initiatives and activities accounting for 10 percent or more of all expenses at many companies - and forecast to increase at double-digit rates for the foreseeable future across most industry segments - it's time for CEOs and boards to give serious consideration to establishing a "Chief Digital Officer" (CDO) office or equivalent. The stakes are too high, and the issues too complicated to leave this domain left managed by an informal, undefined, and mostly powerless assemblage of mid-level managers across an enterprise.
While the internet topics du jour are many - 'social media', 'cloud computing', 'big data', etc. - and capture most of the headlines, the steady drumbeat of digital strategy fundamentals continues to thump, thump, thump in the background, and someone needs to be proactive, accountable, and empowered to make things happen. This is not a quick-hit undertaking: digital strategies take time to establish, refine and make work. When not given the proper attention, implications can be dire and high-profile (see: Borders, Blockbuster, etc.).
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