MIT SMR: Four Profiles of Successful Digital Executives

By: Fabian Reck, Alexander Fliaster

Research identifies four types of effective chief digital officers. Each offers different strengths and performance gains for organizations, depending on the context.

In the last two decades, digital technologies have transformed products, services, and entire business models, including the customer value proposition and the value creation processes. In many cases, new digital strategies have also made the transformation of business ecosystems necessary, creating a strong need for collaboration and coordination both within the company and with external constituencies. As a result, companies are exploring the roles and duties of digital executives, their attitudes and skills, and the key factors that lead to a successful digital transformation.