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Chief Digital Officer count in Europe rising

European businesses are taking their digital transformation efforts quite seriously, new report from Claranet suggests, noting there is a 'surge' in the number of Chief Digital Officers in the Union and beyond.

It has commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 900 end user IT leaders in six countries where Claranet operates - Germany, Benelux, France, Spain, Portugal, and the UK. According to the poll, 95 per cent of these businesses now have a digital strategy, and in 15 per cent of cases, they're led by a Chief Digital Officer.

Last year, they were present in only six per cent of cases.

The two countries which will go head to head in Sunday’s Euro 2016 finals, France and Portugal, are leaders in this trend. There, CDO’s head up 22 and 20 per cent of digital strategies, respectively.

Despite the growth in the number of CDOs, Chief Technology Officers (CTO) and Chief Executive Officers (CEO), are still most likely to head such strategies, with 34 and 29 per cent of cases, respectively.

“The fact that we are seeing a broad split in leadership between CTOs, CIOs and now the growth in CDOs, demonstrates the different approaches organisations are taking toward digital transformation,” said Andy Wilton, CIO of Claranet.

“It is also indicative of a changing IT department where traditional roles are becoming more hybridised.”

“The IT department of 2016 is undergoing a period of accelerating change. Where IT used to play a supporting role to business strategy, it now has the opportunity to drive it. Businesses can lead change by empowering their IT departments - be that by appointing a Chief Digital Officer or by increasing the remit of the CIO to generate profit rather than to provide cost-savings.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Sergey Nivens