The Need for a Chief Digital Officer
The need for companies to consider their information in a way that assist in the creation of new business models that manifest themselves on how organisations can create services and products from how they manage information and data is becoming more apparent.
Most companies have understood the need to hire digital experts — such as Chief Digital Officer, whose job is to spot potential challenges and create revenue opportunities from the information and data of the organisation as well as protect the company from new emerging models that can ultimately disrupt traditional business models.
For when disruption occurs — the CDO can give some degree of insulation from mainstream operations to save newcomers from being swamped by short-term imperatives.
The obsession with digital disruption has reached a flashpoint with the arrival of the smartphone, which is the platform for an invasion of older companies’ hallowed grounds. The success of online lift-sharing company Uber has become an example for entrepreneurs out to attack industries once thought immune to digital upheaval.
From taxi drivers to television networks, from filmmakers to restaurants and banks, the ways in which individuals and companies do business is metamorphosing so quickly that many companies find it hard to keep pace.
For all that, the need to overhaul business processes, forge digital links with customers and, in some cases, recast entire revenue models can still be pressing. A common error is failing to pay attention to the bigger picture, says Surajit Kar, a principal at management consultancy PwC. Distracted by day-to-day events, or by minor adaptations to existing businesses, companies become stuck on the incremental instead of looking at the real game-changing forces in their markets, he says.
The ways in which digital markets tend to evolve can catch out the unwary and opportunities are often to be found between existing markets, says Mr Kar. In industries such as healthcare and financial service, for instance, digital competitors often use technology to insert
themselves as intermediaries in different ways. Start-ups such as US based Practice Fusion, for instance, have used the spread of electronic medical records and other clinical data to create markets in the healthcare field, such as selling data to insurance and pharmaceutical companies.