In Part 1 we talked about the Chief Marketing Officier’s (CMO) role and why they are critical to any digital initiative. The CMO is involved to ensure the business’ marketing strategy is adhered to as part of the digital project.
4 Key Roles in Digital Projects
- The Chief Marketing Officer or CMO – Represents Marketing
- The Chief Information Officer or CIO – Information and data transfer and security
- The Chief Technology Officer or CTO – Technology’s overlay with the business
- The Chief Digital Officer – Focused on the digital consumer experience
The exact tiles are not critical. We need to recognize the need for someone filling the role in the project that understands the subject well. For some organizations, these roles are often filled by staff within the organization or at times by an outside resource like a digital consultant.
The Chief Information Officer Role in Digital Transformation
The titles will vary greatly from organization to organization. The CIO is often referred to as “IT”. This role is in charge of software applications that support running the business. This function is typically internally facing. The CIO is the keeper of applications and process improvement that helps the business run better with technology.
Systems The CIO Role May Oversee
The CIO oversees the data that flows in and out of a multitude of systems and processes across the organization. The CIO is focused on making your organization more efficient through the use of technology. This often applies to keeping the lights on, data flowing, ensuring applications are functioning, and reports are providing value.
The CIO needs to be part of the core project team because they will have an acute knowledge of the systems, the data they have, and how they may be leveraged to make the project a success. Finally, they are also tasked with ensuring that proper security precautions are taken when external access is granted to internal data or systems.
For example, you may want to enable providing the order status contained in your ERP through to a customer portal. If so, the CIO will understand the data structure of the ERP, where it resides, how to get to it and ensure that security is in place to prevent unauthorized access to this information.
CIO Role Cautions
If the CIO is the principal decision-maker in a digital initiative, marketing usability concerns are often overlooked or minimized. I saw this firsthand in the “early” days of web development. CIO’s looked at the raw functionality of the site as the most important aspect of the project with little attention paid to the overall user experience or UX. In fact, I believe this way of “IT thinking” gave rise to the customer-focused user experience trend of the last decade.
In conclusion, as with the CMO role, the CIO role is critical in making any digital project a success.
Join me for the next part in our series for the 3rd role, the CTO role or Chief Technology Officer.