World’s biggest firms lack digitally-focused roles

A huge lack of digitally-focused roles at a senior level has been found among FTSE 100 companies, according to PeopleTECH analysis.

While digital transformation is a talking point for many firms, a mere 2% of FTSE companies have a chief digital officer (CDO) on the board, with just 5% holding a position in the senior management team or executive committee.

This lack of digital professional representation is consistent online: just 11% have a senior digital employee listed on their company website.

On the surface, the findings suggest many firms are slow on the uptake of designating digital positions. 

Indeed, Mike Hughes, MD at PeopleTECH, suggests: “It can be no coincidence that organisations said to be ahead of the game with digital transformation, generally have a senior digital executive to bring it all together.”

However, the customer management consultancy also audited the FTSE AIM 100 – an index of younger, high-growth companies – and the results, surprisingly, were similar.

Not a single FTSE AIM 100 firm has a CDO on the board, just 2% in the senior management team or executive committee, and 2% listed online. 

Clearly younger successful firms are less inclined to accommodate roles with the sole purpose of minding digital matters.  

“If a company has digital embedded in its DNA, then there is less need for a CDO,” says Mike, “and that’s certainly the case for many of the firms on the FTSE AIM 100. 

“But that’s not to say that high-growth companies shouldn’t keep focused on digital transformation – it’s vital to all companies irrespective of size, industry or maturity level."