Roughly 10 years ago, there were board members, managing directors and, of course, CEOs or chairmen of management in Germany. In the course of digitalisation (and the “Americanisation of our language”), various new job titles have become established and are now an integral part of most organisational charts. Whether that’s the CEO, supplemented by various other C-X-O roles on the executive team, or directors, vice presidents and more.
For some time now, there has been the CDO – the Chief Digital Officer. The term was born out of necessity, as some of the existing C-level squad lacked “digital literacy”.
The Chief Digital Officer (CDO)
is increasingly being created
to both plan and implement the digital transformation in companies. An
empirical study by HMD
shows that the implementation of the digital transformation in the company is one of the central tasks of the CDO.
“I deliberately don’t want to go into the more detailed definition of various C-level positions here, but I do want to convey an important core message: Whoever has a “CDO” in the company confirms, in our view, that the existing management does not have sufficient digital competence. Whether I’m talking about strategy (CEO), sales (CSO), marketing (CMO), product (CPO), and even technology (CTO), every executive today needs a “digital mindset” to lead the organization they head into the future. So digital is not an area in the company, it’s a basic requirement in the mindset of the entire organization – including all management.”
Based on this approach, we have analyzed with which customers we are very successful and with which customer projects we have much less “impact” on the further development and success of our customers.
We were able to derive the following from the result: The closer we were able to act to the top management of our clients, the more (positive) influence we were able to exert on strategic issues regarding digitalization. This had immediate consequences on key decisions, whether it was technology selection, brand strategy or product and service portfolio of our customers. The proximity and thus also the consistent and regular exchange with all levels on the customer side (and especially with the C-level) has automatically led to a kind of “continuous consulting” situation, which has paid off for the customer.
The logical consequence of this observation was the restructuring of our agency into several account units, which was initiated in 2019. These are flexible units, which represent the complete value creation of NETFORMIC, but due to their (smaller) size ensure that the acting persons are dedicated and close to the customer’s project. You directly feel the pulse of the project and adjust the digital mindset of the client’s organization with our customers. This applies not only to project managers, consultants or developers, but now also to the “boss” of the account unit – our Director Account Units.
Each of our Directors has their own focus – one is strong in technology, another in strategy and business, yet others have tremendous expertise in process flows and the like. What they all have in common (and what we will continue to look for in these positions in the future) is the mindset of wanting to be successful for and with our clients, to grow and to shape the future.
As I described at the beginning, we consider the permanent installation of a “CDO” in a company to be fundamentally wrong. Digital is not a staff area or anything like that, but a basic requirement for the future of any business. Our Directors therefore act as “Interim CDO” ideally at eye level with the C-Level (Top-)Management of the clients, are available for consulting as well as “driving” and try to bring in the (possibly) non-existing Digital Mindset not only in the project or operation of a platform or a product, but to support you overall to master the next (digital) evolutionary stage for your company.