The Chief Digital Officer takes centre stage

The Digital Imperative

Every organisation, whether a multinational, conglomerate, SME, privately-held business or public sector institution, is devoting significant resources to leveraging digital capabilities to drive a sustainable future.

We continue to experience Moore’s Law, that the number and speed of the techniques digital marketers use to attract, keep, sell and service digital customers will double every two years. In fact, by 2025 analysts expect there to be 20 billion connected devices, such as smart-phones, tablets, game consoles and so on. These devices blur the lines between communication, play and spending, with almost 40 percent of off-line sales influenced by Internet research and 7 percent of global sales conducted online1. This means almost half of any purchases worldwide are already digitally influenced.

Change is the constant. Among the net generation—today’s executive decision-makers— 50 percent are advanced users of smart-phones, social networking tools and Internet video. They prefer these new tools to email, texts and phone calls2, now seen as archaic alongside Pinterest, instagram and tumblr. Digital density has reached a tipping point with more than a billion people on Facebook, 5.6 billion mobile devices and more than $20.4 trillion of business—14 percent of all economic activity— transacted across digital resources3. What does the digital era mean for leadership, the new c in the c-suite and governance? And what is the executive search perspective?

The Impact of Digital Transformation

At the organisational level, digital transformation enables reinvention of internal processes, business models and corporate interaction with customers and partners. The impact on senior executives and their teams is huge. The use of analytics, mobility, social media and smart embedded devices challenges them to analyse and merge new forms of data, capture valuable consumer insights and turn these insights into real-time or near real-time action.

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