What Are These New Emerging IT Roles?

The rise of technology in the workplace has also given rise to tech-focused positions that didn’t exist five to ten years ago. Common, in-demand positions today like app developers, web designers, data scientists, social media managers, and others were rare or nonexistent. Now, one recent report from Deloitte claims that disruptive technologies have actually created more jobs than they have taken.

It has also altered the boardroom. Executive roles, like the Chief Information Officer (CIO), may have existed a decade ago, but they have evolved so much that today’s CIOs are barely comparable to earlier versions.

New C-suite positions are emerging, as the importance of managing digital, data, and other tech-related business initiatives rises. With Chief Digital Officers, Data Officers, Information Security Officers, and other C-suite roles that relate to IT popping up, some are asking will these emerging positions phase out or are they here to stay?

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Chief Digital Officer
From employees to consumers, individuals are demanding a digital world–a demand that is changing the way we do business. In a recent joint MIT and Deloitte study, nearly 80 percent of respondents said that they want to work for an organization that has either enabled digital or is a digital leader. As tech usage and demand grows, more organizations are digitizing their business strategies and processes.

This increased focus on digitization has prompted some companies to hire Chief Digital Officers (CDO) to lead and manage these initiatives. CDOs are responsible for helping to shift traditional processes to digital. They are often in charge of making this shift seamless, by creating a seamless experience for customers and constituents across traditional and digital platforms. If an organization plans to implement new cloud-based collaboration tools, wireless presentation software, wearable technology, mobile apps, or other digital enabled processes, CDOs are most likely managing it. Last year, Gartner reported that the number of CDOs was on the rise, predicting that by 2015, over 25 percent of companies would have one on their executive team.

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Chief Data Officer
The acronyms for Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data Officer may be the same, but the responsibilities can be quite different. Where digital officers often focus on strategy and act as change agents, data officers focus on big data and managing it.

Company data is now viewed as an asset. Chief data officers are responsible for determining what types of information are most valuable for businesses to capture, and how that data will be mined and stored.

Unlike CIOs, data officers are usually not responsible for the infrastructure and systems in which that data is stored. According to Gartner, there are over 100 CDOs in enterprises, double the amount in 2012.

 

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Chief Information Security Officer
Chief Security Officers have existed for a long time, however, the role has transformed. Instead of simply focusing on physical security, many are also concerned about cyber security. Some companies are even splitting the position in two, keeping CSOs devoted to physical safety while another role focuses on protecting data and information systems.

With hacker tactics getting more sophisticated and the number and cost of data breaches increasing every year, organizations are taking cyber security seriously. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are responsible for keeping company information and systems safe. CISOs are bridging the gap between the security department and IT and will likely have a lasting spot on the executive team.

All of these positions have become more prominent because of the digital revolution. Like most jobs, their responsibilities can vary depending on the organization. As more CISOs and CDOs take a seat in the boardroom, companies will take notice. It is likely that we will see more of these roles emerging and becoming part of the leadership team. Some may outlive others, but at the moment, they will continue to grow in importance and demand.

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