IDC has blind faith in chief digital officers

IDC says that 60 percent of CIOs in global companies will be supplanted by the chief digital officer when it comes to implementing digital services. Will chief digital officers even exist in 2020 when every business is digital?

CIOs will focus most of their time in the years ahead on analytics, cybersecurity and growth, but could cede responsibilities for customer-facing technologies to chief digital officers, according to IDC.

Research firm IDC released its CIO agenda for 2015 and laid out predictions for the future.

The zinger in the top 10 list comes with No. 6:

By 2020, 60 percent of CIOs in global organizations will be supplanted by the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for the delivery of IT-enabled products and digital services.

Really?!? Some companies will promote the CDO to a big role. In five years, I'd be surprised if 60 percent of global companies even have a CDO. Why? 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 bit redundant.

gartner cxo slide

And if you take Gartner's large CIO survey into account, CEOs aren't even giving CDOs much play. In fact, CDOs have some clout but no more than other CXOs. Here's a chart based on Gartner's survey of 2,810 CIOs in 84 countries and a CEO companion effort:

My bet: The CDO won't even be a topic by 2020.

Fortunately for IDC, its other CIO predictions make sense.

Here's a look:

  • By 2017, 80 percent of CIO time will revolve around analytics, security and new revenue streams via digital services.
  • By 2016, security will be a top 3 priority for 70 percent of CEOs.
  • By 2016, 65 percent of global strategy will require IT as a service.
  • By 2015, 60 percent of CIOs will use DevOps.
  • By 2016, 80 percent of CIOs will deliver new architectures that will enable innovation and better decisions.
  • By 2016, 80 percent will replace current IT assets with cloud platforms.
  • By 2018, 30 percent of CIOs will have an analytics strategy.
  • By 2017, 35 percent of vendor relationships revolving around third party platforms will fail.
  • By 2018, half of CIOs will favor an open standards approach.