The CxO conundrum. CTO, CIO…CDO

I’ve been asked a tonne about this over my career, the CTO, CIO, CDO…what do these titles mean and don’t they cross over?

Well?  Yes and no, actually not a lot actually. Let’s go from T to D. There is not right / wrong, big / small. But here is some changing…

A CTO builds technology, because they work for a company who’s output is technology.  This is my personal bread and butter, a SaaS situation, not always but often in cloud situations.  Our primary output is in service of our customers, as a tech enabler.  More recently this is Serko, an amazing kiwi company who builds some of the worlds best travel and expense technology…for our customers.

A CIO runs information systems for a corporate / enterprise.  A CIO does not typically build tech, they run it… ERP, CRM etc.  In service of the business itself, not for the business customers.

A CDO replaces a CIO where the corporate / enterprise wants to (finally) shift to digital.  This is the cross roads.   CIOs often want to become CDOs to take the ERP/CRM to digital, but more often than not the mainframe/mini can never become the web/mobile…

So to recap, CTO build tech, CIO runs tech, CDO disrupts CIO for the most part. 

Brutal, but my POV