Chief digital and chief data officers are increasingly becoming commonplace within the senior executive ranks of banks globally, positions that form part of a broader trend or development that includes the emergence of chief innovation officers.
ING, Asia’s DBS Bank and the UK’s Atom Bank, a digital only bank, are among some of the most recent examples of CIO appointments. Citi however, hired for this role way back in 2008.
Chief digital and data officers are similarly emerging. HSBC appointed a chief or global head of digital last year, while in February this year Wells Fargo named its first chief data officer. Other banks that have chief data officers include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Canada, according to Gartner, an information technology research and advisory firm.
Gartner estimates there are currently over 100 chief data officers, mainly in financial services and government, and executive headhunting firm Russell Reynolds reckons half of Fortune 500 companies will have a CDO by next year.
These roles may not be especially new and could just be banks breaking up or rebranding the long-standing roles of chief information or technology officers.
But what it does point to is the importance that banks are placing on their digital presence across platforms, the reams of valuable customer and client data they sit on and what they do with it, and the role of technology in how they operate and indeed how they interact with their retail and institutional wholesale clients.