Why do businesses need a Chief Automation Officer?

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The conversation surrounding digital transformation is becoming increasingly urgent. What once was an initiative to get businesses ahead of the game is now a matter of survival. One only has to check their news feed to find that yet another business has failed to adapt and, as a result, succumbed to failure overall.

On the bright side, however, organisations are more familiar than ever with what they need for a successful transformation. In particular, automation is all the rage, being pretty much synonymous with digital transformation in the first place. Although the former is a subset of the latter, both drive productivity, time saving, cost effectiveness, and accuracy.

However, strategy is paramount when implementing these new technologies to ensure businesses get the most out of them. For example, once upon a time, businesses realised they had to become more data-driven. Understanding the 'what' of their data was one thing, but getting the most out of it and the 'why' was another.

In turn, organisations responded by embracing Chief Data Officer as part of the C-suite – someone who can connect the dots between the decision makers and the data itself. Fast-forward to today, and history is repeating itself. A shift in the boardroom is happening once again, this time to accommodate a Chief Automation Officer (CAO).

What is a Chief Automation Officer?

The CAO will bring their specific expertise to strategise enterprise-wide orchestration of automating tools. In particular, CAOs can connect automation across the business and continuously drive a holistic approach to it.

Among the CAO's capabilities is optimising workflows. As well as this, they are responsible for considering and implementing new technologies and orchestrating automation as best as possible. However, perhaps most timely of all is the CAO's ability to deploy automation as part of a business's digital transformation strategy. Specifically, the CAO is able to bridge the relationship between IT and the boardroom to build the best possible automation roadmap.

A quick search on LinkedIn will show you that CAOs aren't overly common as of yet. However, with digital transformation so high on the agenda, it's only a matter of time before CAOs follow the parade of Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Diversity Officers, Chief Data Officers, Chief Innovation Officers, Chief Security Officers, and more to reshape the C-suite as we know it. Today, senior leadership is changing as we know it as we enter a new era of the enterprise.

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