The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) Role in Digital Transformation

Welcome back to our four-part series on the roles necessary for your digital project. In Part 1, we talked about the CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officer) role and in Part 2, we talked about the CIO role (Chief Information Officer). In the latest Part 3, we covered how the CTO role (Chief Technology Officer) needs to be part of your digital efforts.  



4 Key Roles in Digital Projects: 

  1. The Chief Marketing Officer or CMO – Represents Marketing 
  2. The Chief Information Officer or CIO – Information and data transfer and security
  3. The Chief Technology Officer or CTO – Technology’s overlay with the business
  4. The Chief Digital Officer or CDO – Focused on the digital consumer experience

Roles Reminder 

One more reminder — the exact tiles are not important.  What is important to remember is we need someone filling the role in the project that understands the subject well.  It can be other people in the organization or filled by an outside resource like a consultant.  The smaller the organization, the more we see each role being held by one or two people. Conversely, the larger the organization, you may see more than one person performing parts of any of these roles.  The main point of this is that these skillsets are necessary to include in your digital projects.  If not, a critical piece is being missed.  

This is the last role we will be covering in our series. The CDO role is the glue that binds the project together and will help your digital project succeed.  

The CDO Role 

The CDO is a digital native or has spent their career in various digital disciplines. Both IT and marketing have a stake in web, so a CDO has often straddled the fence between the two successfully and has been through a major web effort before. They can provide marketing a deeper understanding of technology, IT, and company data.  

The CDO role also has a solid overall grasp of the organization’s marketing strategy and branding to make sure IT keeps the concerns of marketing in mind.  Finally, they provide a bridge for the organization’s products and services. They have the skills to take a large digital project from start to finish.   

A CDO knows that every digital project is about function, usability, business strategy, branding, and customer experience. It is the job of this role to know where the business wants to go strategically and figure out how to get there through the project.   


A good CDO needs to be humble, which can be challenging for some. This position must act as a driver and a facilitator to bring the necessary departments to the table to keep the project moving rather than the person who makes all the decisions. The CDO is important to creating a successful project and is essential to finishing a digital project on a strong note.  

Technology Advancing Purpose 

Thank you for visiting and let us know how we might be able to help you with your next digital endeavor.  Remember, Adage is here to help you use technology to fulfill your mission, vision, AND purpose! 

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