Mindtree survey on the role of chief digital officers

Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is an effective change agent and champion for achieving digital transformation and delivering a customer benefit, Mindtree said in its survey report.
IT jobMindtree, a leading IT services company, has partnered with Researchscape International on a custom research project. Mindtree’s survey included data from 323 global business and IT professionals in the U.S. and U.K who work under a CDO.

These professionals play a large role in executing on the vision of the CDO and have a valuable perspective about the effectiveness of the CDO as a leader. It found that the CDO has been effective in championing many business-driving digital initiatives, such as giving customers the seamless digital experiences (27 percent) and creating new business models (20 percent).

The survey found today’s business and IT professionals see a clear need for the continuance of the CDO position, with 74 percent of respondents stating that their organization’s CDO has clearly defined responsibilities and 81 percent agreeing that these responsibilities are differentiated enough that a dedicated CDO position is needed.

Business and IT professionals believe that the CDO role is becoming even more relevant compared to when it was first created (76 percent), demonstrating a clear mandate for the CDO to accomplish his or her digital objectives.

Business and IT leaders named a deep understanding of technology (61 percent) and the ability to execute digital strategies (53 percent) as their CDO’s main skills. Almost 70 percent of respondents said their CDO comes from an IT background, suggesting that while many CDOs possess a good combination of technology understanding and “soft skills,” they may have less visibility into or are still acquiring an understanding of how parts of the business function.

84 percent of respondents in organizations whose CDO came from an IT background said their company had made significant digital progress since the CDO role was created, compared to 73 percent who come from organizations with a CDO having a non-IT, business background, answering the same.

About a third of respondents (32 percent) named change-resistant culture as the biggest obstacle CDO’s face in making greater progress. When asked what the CDO needs most in order to be successful with digitizing the business, 38 percent of respondents said it will require more collaboration across business units, combined with an infusion of new talent with skills aligned to in-demand technologies.

“We’re not surprised that the CDO role is not seen as a limited duration project or initiative leadership role, but much more of a long-term change agent,” said Sreedhar Bhagavatheeswaran, head of Digital, Mindtree.

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