Predicting the corporate demand for chief digital officers is turning out to be a tough task.
On one hand, a report released today from research firm Forrester suggests that most firms that have not already hired a CDO are not planning to do so over the next year.
That is in contrast to a report released last October from fellow research from IDC, which predicted that, within five years, roughly 60 percent of CIOs would be supplanted by CDOs.
Such a bold claim from IDC drew some skepticism, especially from ZDNet editor-in-chief Larry Dignan:
The CDO is a transition role. Every company on the planet will be digital and that means most execs will lean that way. A CDO position when everything is digital is a bit redundant.
But Forrester doesn't predict a total death for the CDOs of the world, rather it urges digital leaders to partner more closely with the CIO on a shared to-do list.
So what are the corporate roles that Forrester expects to have staying power?
The research firm posits that businesses will prioritize the skill-sets and talent needed to elevate their overall digital strategy, particularly in the areas of technology and customer experience.
Technology, development and infrastructure make up 19 percent of business teams' staff allocation. Marketing is just behind in headcount, representing 15 percent of the average team. Forrester also pointed out the importance companies are placing on roles in the customer experience department, although many businesses lament that this is one of the hardest roles to fill.