Companies in all industries are being pulled into the digital age. Customers now expect seamless experiences with the online products and services they use, and they will leave behind businesses that aren’t able to meet those digital expectations.

Many CIOs are managing huge, complex internal systems — many dominated by legacy IT — and cannot drive digital change without calling in help. As waves of digitization have swept through organizations, there has been a growing debate about the value of a new addition to the management mix: the chief digital officer (CDO).

What role does the CIO play? Where does the CDO fit in?

The increasing opportunities for the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the CDO see both roles working towards the same goal of driving success to the business through technology. Within some organizations, the CIO and CDO roles can become blurred if they don’t have a clear division of responsibilities. In most sectors and industries, the CDO will implement digital transformation which can free a CIO’s time to focus on operating IT.

Many companies are focused on developing a digital strategy when they should instead focus on integrating digital into all aspects of the business, from channels and processes and data to the operating model, incentives, and culture. Getting the strategy right requires the CDO to work closely with the CIO. The CDO also needs to be an active participant in and shaper of the strategy. An important foundation for CDOs to establish credibility and secure a seat at the strategy table is providing detailed analysis of market trends and developments in technology and customer behavior, both inside and outside the sector.

For example, crucial parts of digital transformation might be customer/partner onboarding, API management, and omni-channels strategies. The CDO enters the organization to manage all of these challenges and more. This leaves the CIO to continue to manage modernization of legacy systems, total cost of ownership (including cost control), and the day-to-day IT problems.

SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite can help on either side of the C-Suite. Whether a CDO is looking to make technological innovations and improve customer engagement, or a CIO is looking to manage complex IT operational challenges. Learn more: