The C?O-debate is going to hit your breakfast-table anytime soon now.

No, this was not a typo: C?O it was by intent, because it is going to get ‘messy’ in the C-level shuffle that is about to start.

I recently come across a couple of articles where a fairly new role is gaining traction up to the organization’s society broad. The CDO : the chief digital officer. With all the developments I see in every branch really should embrace the digital transformation that is occurring and increasingly speeding up. Business models, delivery models but also KPI’s are getting a complete overhaul. Transferring from “digitization” via “digital transition” into this “digital transformation” the future will become into rough waters for many. One of the examples we see is how Amazon is sailing into health(care), most recently with their acquisition of PillPack one of the big online pharmacists and their announcements of naming Atul Gawande as the CEO of the health initiative for their 1Million plus employees. 

With data, digital, AI, ML, all kinds of “reality” (AR, VR, MR etc) on the platter, shuffles in the roles of the Executive Board, and on a different level in CIO’s and IT managers, CTO’s, CXO’s are about to get prominent. Some will upgrade to a more strategic role, others will be surpassed by others from ‘outside’ and what would the role of a CINO be? 

In my new book, I elaborated on how boards should migrate into a setting with more a societal recalibration, where technology is becoming more elementary than until now. In health(care) in my opinion, this should imply to stop naming more doctors and accountants into the (executive and control)boards and also including boards with technologists and (former) entrepreneurs as that will be the next frontier for the next two decades for this branch. 

Excerpt from my new book ‘Augmented Health Care’, the end of the beginning:

“The new paradigm of the digital economy is ‘speed over perfection’. As disruption becomes more pervasive, organizations need a new strategic approach – one that positions them to change course in real time based on current realities. The centuries-old model where doctors and boards control how health(care) is being delivered, no longer is valid enough. New players use different ‘game-play’, don’t have the legacy we carry around and certainly have a different mindset and ambition.” 

And “The Control board or other bodies that appoint board members should – given the current digital transformation – consider emphasising on this highly strategic topic for the next decades, not only from an IT standpoint of view, but also embed experience and knowledge on the entrepreneurial world, as the outside world has the inside health(care) world on its menu. There should be a strong connection between those accountable for the institution’s strategy, innovation and IT. I think there is a strong case to be made to have all of those three aspects in an optimal scenario in one and the same hand.”

All in all, I expect it is getting crowdy in boardrooms over the next time, interesting to see how this is coming into play.