OK so I am a little over the top with hype. And I clearly am a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies. But ignoring all this, I really felt this message was worth exploring. I was sitting at the closing CDO panel at our European Enterprise Information and Master Data Management summit. Our very own Deb Logan was exploring the role, requirements, work and value proposition of the CDO position with three CDO’s. It had been a long week but it was the perfect way to end it – though it was only Thursday!
Few attendees got up and left the closing keynote – the content was riveting. We had just spent two days looking at the role of information in IT and business, and it really did seem that we are on the cusp of something important here. The CDO role is a good old fashioned excuse to do what IT should have done all along, but in many, even most, cases failed to do: exploit the value of information for the betterment of the business. Too often we focus on technology, vendors, and tools, even to the point of having a technology strategy over and before an information strategy. Why is it that when we too often equate an “IT strategy” to a technology strategy? Why isn’t there an information strategy? They are DIFFERENT.
For example, information is relevant to business leaders, independent of any involvement of the IT department or CIO! For example, it is quite possible for information to drive a wholly new innovative P&L for the business. As such, IT plays a role in making that happen, but it was the business that might have conceived of the value prop. So an information strategy should be developed not from within an IT strategy, but alongside it – and definitely driven from the same business goals that drive the technology strategy.
The CDO is the latest attempt to right this balance. And I for one was excited with what I heard last Thursday evening. In two weeks we re-convene in Las Vegas for our North American summit of the same name. We close with a Master Mind interview with a CDO for even more drill-down on this most critical roles for the digital business. I look forward to seeing you there.