Lots of CDOs, and lots of hurdles

|January 29, 2016 0
Image courtesy of jscreationzs at freedigitalphotos
Even if 90 pc of big companies will have CDOs, only 50 per cent will be successful by the end of 2019

MUMBAI, INDIA: Gartner is predicting that 90 per cent of large companies will have a CDO role by the end of 2019.

Why?

The race to drive competitive advantage and improved efficiency through better use of information assets is leading to a sharp rise in the number of chief data officers (CDOs), it observes.

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“Business leaders are starting to grasp the huge potential of digital business, and demanding a better return on their organizations’ information assets and use of analytics,” said Mario Faria, research vice president at Gartner. “It’s a logical step to create an executive position — the CDO — to handle the many opportunities and responsibilities that arise from industrial-scale collection and harnessing of data.”

CDOs will face a number of challenges, to the extent that only 50 per cent will be successful by the end of 2019. One challenge is that the role will be new in most organizations and most new CDOs will be learning on the job. They will have the difficult task of creating an information strategy with relevant metrics that tie the activities of their team to measurable business outcomes.

“With the explosion of datasets everywhere, an important task is determining which information can add business value, drive efficiency or improve risk management,” said Faria. “The CDO’s role will raise expectations of better results from an enterprise information management strategy, with stakeholders wanting a clear idea of the exact mechanics of making success a reality.”

The confluence of high expectations and limited knowledge around information management by business users can make it difficult for CDOs to get the budget and commitment from the business they need to make their plans a success. “This raises a political aspect to the role — building trust and relationships in the organization will be important to achieving success,” added Faria.

Many CDOs already report high levels of change resistance, particularly from the IT department, over the control of information assets and their governance. Successful CDOs, however, are doing a great job of working with the CIO to lead change and overcome resistance.

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