How to position the CDO role to best use data | #IBMCDO

Gene Kolker and Seth Dobrin - IBM CDO Summit 2016

During the IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit, held at the Boston Copley Marriott in Boston, MA, discussion centered on the current role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO), where the role is going in the future, and the changing view around data analytics.

To talk about these topics, and more, Gene Kolker, VP and CDO of Global Technology Services at IBM, and Seth Dobrin, director of Digital Strategies at Monsanto Co., spoke with Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and Stu Miniman (@stu), cohosts of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, during the event.

Being more digital

The conversation began with a general overview of the summit. Dobrin really liked the free exchange of ideas, which helped with his role to “… help Monsanto internally position itself, especially the cultural shift associated with being more digital … also, the customer first and how can we create new revenue.”

At Monsanto, this kind of “open” thinking extends to the company’s use of geospatial data. which is routinely captures for agriculture, and how to use that data in other areas of the company, better serving its clients.

Moving from people-run, technology-assisted to technology-run, people-assisted model

Vellante brought up Inderpal Bhandari’s (global CDO at IBM) five steps of transformation for CDOs, and asked how the guests thought it was relevant.

“Global technology services is transforming itself … [Bhandari’s]  framework is very applicable to this,” said Kolker. “We want to transform it ourselves, so we are a trusted broker for our clients … there’s a new emphasis on cognitive services, cognitive delivery … when you have large computer systems.”

He explained that the model is evolving from people-run, technology-assisted to technology-run, people-assisted. As a further explained by Dobrin, having technology-run routine tasks can free up creative minds to work more on innovation. It’s a much better use of data, he explained.

The role of the CDO in the future

As the CDO role has developed so far in the enterprise, Kolker had this to say: “I think there’s some clarity happening … there’s much more acceptance now.” He said that while the CIO role is thought of as managing how you use IT, the CDO role is thought of as how you manage using the data.

Dobrin expanded on the point: “It demonstrates that this is an important role in the organization; are you able to [shape] the culture to build data and analytics?”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit.

Photo by SiliconANGLE