With businesses around the world quickly shifting to remote, data-driven, and agile operating models, it is no surprise that executive leadership teams are beginning to look very different. This has become even more apparent with new challenges posed by COVID and international lockdowns. Instead of the usual CEO, CFO and CMO combinations, a host of intriguing new titles have emerged. We take a look at the new, technology-centric power players running the C-suite…
Chief Digital Officer
The Chief Digital Officer has now been around for some time, even though many thought it would be a fad. This professional is the driving force behind an organisation’s digital transformation and needs to ensure that both IT and business departments are aligned and moving in the same direction. The CDO must also ensure that the right processes, procedures and technologies are used to embed digital tools and platforms into the business, and is critical for businesses to achieve compliance and governance targets.
Chief Data Officer
Chief Data Officers are on the rise in many regulated industries. Gartner has predicted that 60% of all companies in regulated industries will have a CDO by end of 2021. Essentially, the CDO is a senior executive who bears responsibility for the company’s enterprise-wide data and information strategy, governance, control and policy development. The CDO is ultimately in charge of finding ways to harness data in a way that creates long-term business value.
Chief Analytics Officer
The Chief Analytics Officer (CAO) is a senior manager responsible for the analysis of data within an organization, such as a listed company or an educational institution.
According to Gartner, Chief Analytics Officers (CAOs) and analytics leaders are ‘the business equivalents of high-wire artists, maintaining balance while serving multiple masters, adapting to constant business winds and staying current on innovation.’ This is especially relevant with business intelligence, analytics and critical business insights, which can be harnessed quickly and effectively using modern-day BI tools.
Chief Experience Officer
The Chief Experience Officer (CXO) is the executive responsible for the overall experience of a company’s products and services. With user experience (UX) fast becoming a key differentiator in the business sphere, the CXO is there to establish and build a consistent experience throughout. Put simply, a CXO finds discrepancies in the user experience and makes moves to change them to make an experience seamless. This adds immense value to both internal consumption and use of critical systems, as well as external (customer) engagement with business platforms and products.
Chief Disruption Officer
In an age of constant disruption, which was well emphasised for us all in 2020, all businesses can quickly fall by the wayside if they are insufficiently agile, so it was just a matter of time before we saw this title in the boardroom. These are the wild and wacky individuals whose responsibility it is to shake the status quo and lead the business into new territories and directions, so to speak. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has been a fierce advocate of the position, stating: “Companies that really care about this [business disruption] have a chief disruption officer…Someone to look out for what is coming, for what might be coming, and how that could disrupt your own business.” Or in our all our 2020 cases… how a pandemic could disrupt the world!
Chief Innovation Officer
This is the person in an organisation responsible for driving and directing innovation within a company. Most often, he/she is the executive that comes up with new ideas that are then brought to fruition by research and development teams. In other scenarios, this officer is someone who recognizes and develops innovative ideas introduced by other members of the team, ensuring that the company invests resources into those ideas and implements new concepts.