The clutch of new job titles due to storm your workplace in 2017
Human Resources

The clutch of new job titles due to storm your workplace in 2017

I meet a lot of people in different walks of IT and, as is the nature of the business, they usually have some challenge or other on the blend that needs addressing. And so I always find myself asking the same question: “Does this require a new role?”

Some meet this with derision – there are far too many Super Data Ninjas out there already – no need to open the flood gates to more. While others feel that the rapid pace of change means whole departments need restructuring and new roles need creating.

This year we’ve looked in detail at the rise of the CISO in the light of all the security breaches and investigated whether the increased emphasis on connected devices means companies now require a Chief IoT Officer. But what is 2017 likely to bring?

Well, as always, there is no definitive answer, so we simply asked industry professionals to propose the new job titles that they think will emerge next year. We’ve listed them below along with their short explanation as to why.


Obsolescence Manager

Suggested by Jonathan Wilkins, Marketing Director at EU Automation

“In the manufacturing, automotive and aerospace sectors in particular, we can expect to see the role of the Obsolescence Manager emerge from 2017.

Obsolescence managers will be tasked with the role of monitoring product obsolescence as well as the state of the automated systems the company is using. This involves analysing the components of critical systems and using predictive analytics to estimate the likelihood of equipment breakdown. Obsolescence managers will also be responsible for regular audits, which serve a similar purpose to car MOTs.

Effective obsolescence management is a full time job, especially in the world of Industry 4.0 and smart factories, where obsolescence cycles are becoming shorter and the pace of new technology adoption is speeding up. Manufacturers that want to ensure they don’t fall victim to obsolescence will have to employ an obsolescence manager to keep track of critical systems and minimise costly downtime.”

Chief Data Officer (CDO)

Suggested by Stan Christaens, CTO at Collibra

“Traditionally, organisations have tackled data problems by assigning a small team within the IT department to ‘clean’ the data. This choice was an historical consequence of the fact that this same IT department had built and managed the underlying data infrastructure since the beginning. Many organisations have managed to escape this tradition and learned that data problems are actually rooted in a business problem. Therefore, data governance is increasingly being driven by strong business, strategic, and operational opportunities rather than by data infrastructure limitations.

Hence the rise in prominence in 2017 of the Chief Data Officer (CDO). The CDO is an executive level role organisationally sanctioned to establish a data strategy and empower data citizens through a collaboration platform that changes the way business is done. The CDO does not replace the existing data managers and their governance mechanisms, but rather enhances their effectiveness by empowering them. By doing so, their success is amplified and noticed by other executive leaders. In turn, this generates an overall belief that data is a core value rather than a mere by-product.

The CDO builds organisational capacity for long-term, data-driven business strategy and innovation. Its office can be held accountable for failure as well as success, and through systematic demonstration of the latter through a data collaboration platform, eventually engender trust in data for the entire organisation and beyond.”


Digital Training Officer (DTO)

Suggested by Keith Tilley, EVP, Global Sales & Customer Services at Sungard Availability Services

“Operating across the entire business, the DTO role would be responsible for upskilling employees in the digital technologies. DTOs would be tasked with training the workforce to get the most out of the latest digital tools – from social platforms such as Yammer, through to more complex, divisional specific applications, such as the sales team’s mobile CRM.

As digital technologies continue to evolve at an astonishing rate, keeping an organisation competitive requires continuous training. A successful DTO should be forward-thinking and adaptable, able to anticipate the training needs of the organisation, not simply for today, but also for tomorrow.

Our recent global research found that having the right technical skills and receiving the right training were named as the two biggest challenges hindering digital transformation for employees across the world. It’s clear that there’s a need in businesses to invest, not only in the tools that encourage innovation, but also the support for the staff who use them. With the digital skills gap ever looming, an organisation that invests in the future skills of the workforce now is one that will flourish in the digital market of tomorrow.”


Cyber Security Specialist

Suggested by Mary Worthington, Information and Cyber Security Specialist at Sanderson Recruitment

“We have seen a sharp rise in organisations asking for someone with a blend of technical and broader business knowledge. This includes the ability to interact with and influence multiple stakeholders.

The old world of ‘IT geeks’ has given way to a new breed of Cyber Security Specialists. They’re great communicators and strategists, with the ability to inspire co-workers and change how a business operates.

The candidates who get the best results are passionate about this area outside of the workplace and have pushed themselves to gain extra qualifications and skills. They’re active on forums and attend networking events and expositions.

But as demand is pushed, so finding these individuals becomes harder and recruiting them requires insight and expertise.”


Chief Insight Officer (CInO)

Suggested by Robin Collyer, Marketing and Decisioning specialist at Pegasystems


“2017 will see the emergence of the CInO (Chief Insight Officer) and a much-needed collaboration across departments to drive business optimisation and meaningful relationships with customers. Organisations are collecting mountains of data on customers. The old-adage of data into insight into action is being turned on its head as real-time analytics enables organisations to re-imagine the interactions with individual customers. Now it’s outcomes/actions driving insight, driving data. These ‘Insight’ roles are going to be elevated to the C-suite to form a longer lasting part of the business.”


Chief Cybercrime Officer

Suggested by Andy Taylor, Lead Assessor at APMG

“2016 is a year of some very well-documented breaches including Tesco Bank, Sage & Kiddicare among others. In the aftermath of the TalkTalk data breach, MPs recommended appointing an officer with day-to-day responsibility for protecting computer systems from attack. Is today’s CISO the right person to hold this office or should organisation’s be looking to appoint a Chief Cybercrime Officer?

The CCO should be responsible for ensuring that an organisation is cyber-ready, would bear the responsibility for preventing breaches, would take the lead if a breach did occur and provide a robust connection between the board and the rest of the company. Alternatively we consider cyber security as just another aspect of proper information management – looking after information in whatever format has always been a critical responsibility for organisations. If this is still the case, cyber security should be the domain of the Chief Information Officer with technical support from a range of professionals including cyber security professionals.”


Talent Director

Suggested by Paul Haydock, CEO of DueCourse

“As an SME, we knew we needed to approach recruitment a little differently to the bigger companies. One of the biggest issues and challenges that face small businesses is hiring. If an SME is in high growth they need someone focus 100% of their time looking for exceptional talent, given the hyper competitive nature of the market. Too many SME’s are reactive when it comes to recruitment, and only start looking when the need is critical, leading to a ‘panic buy’ situation.

The fastest and most common way to hire is by using traditional recruitment agencies or HR teams, which are often both no-go options for SMEs due to the high levels of cost, plus we’ve always viewed the hiring process from a much more humanistic angle, so their reliance on CVs isn’t ideal.

We think there should be a new approach, which focuses on hiring being very much a part of the overall business strategy. And to achieve this, we decided to create the new role of ‘Talent Director’ and hired recruitment specialist Michael Hall, who now heads up our hiring strategy. Michael shares our humanistic views when it comes to sourcing and hiring new talent, and it’s his job to seek out the very best people from the very best places without focusing on CVs or past education.

Instead he uses his own network of contacts and strategic approach to carry out bespoke searches for each new role. He focuses on each candidates’ talents, skills and personality, which he learns about through informal, face-to-face meetings as opposed to the number of years’ experience they have or the quality of their education.

This is especially great for the tech industry, as it’s almost impossible to judge a developer’s skills and talents from a CV or straightforward interview, and a recruitment agency is likely to judge purely on these elements without considering personality or whether they’d be a good fit for the company.”


Robotic Technology Consultants

Suggested by Alex Burke, Group CEO at Tigerspike

“Enterprise mobility is driving workforce automation, demonstrating productivity and efficiency gains. Even for highly skilled professionals many daily tasks are repetitive and mindless, such as filing data, copying and pasting information into different formats or systems, and routine emails to pass project updates and action items along to various stakeholders. As a result we’ll see automation of these tasks increase to make these processes more efficient, and as a result specialist technologies will be brought into enterprises to manage this change. Robotic Technology Consultants will operate alongside Business and IT stakeholders to understand relevant business and technology needs and drive successful delivery and management of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions.”


B2B Virtual Reality Engineer

Suggested by Alex Burke, Group CEO at Tigerspike

“2017 will be the year that augmented and virtual reality gain momentum in businesses across the country as they have done so in a consumer and gaming setting. As a result, specialised engineers will be required to take responsibility for monitoring and implementing VR in enterprise, managing developments and usage at all employee levels whilst integrating with legacy systems.”


Digital Transformation Officer (DTO)

Suggested by David Benjamin, GM and SVP of EMEA for Box

“The DTO’s responsibility will be to help the workforce navigate workplace transformation so that as work continues to change, the tools that help us get our work done will do so too. In particular the DTO will increasingly be focussed on aligning the needs of the Chief Digital Officer, the Chief Security Officer and the Chief Information Officer so that collectively the enterprise can capitalise on the promising changes taking place in technology today.”


Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Suggested by Jes Breslaw, EMEA Director of Strategy at Delphix

“The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates that large organisations appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) as they scramble to get a single view of where their data resides and set parameters on who has access to it. The DPO will have to work with CISOs and IT to monitor and control data movement and use. With data sprawled throughout an organisation with no central control, this will be no easy task. Organisations addressing the GDPR and other regulations must first take steps to re-architect their data provisioning to have any chance of compliance.”


Brexit Strategy Manager

Suggested by Geoff Smith, Managing Director at Experis UK & Ireland

“Following the EU referendum vote, we’re anticipating a rise in demand for individuals that will act as the lead and coordinator for all Brexit related activities within a business. This includes: monitoring negotiations, managing multiple relationships with external third parties and regulators and overseeing the resulting change programme. Those that also have expertise in risk and compliance will be sought after, along with M&A expertise to capitalise on any expansion opportunities that might arise from Brexit.”


Elastic Stack Expert

Suggested by Geoff Smith, Managing Director at Experis UK & Ireland

“As demand for skills in big data continues to rise, these open source technology experts are becoming highly sought after. Individuals that are proficient in Elastic Stack can build and manage an infrastructure that combines the comprehensive information retrieval of Elasticsearch, the ETL power of Logstash, and the most flexible open source data visualisation package in Kibana. Creating this end-to-end platform, enables businesses to collect, store and make sense of millions of data points within minutes. These experts can uncover valuable insights that will help businesses enhance their products and services to remain competitive in the digital age.”


Wagile Developer

Suggested by Geoff Smith, Managing Director at Experis UK & Ireland

“This is a hybrid, technical project management approach that blends Waterfall and Agile methodology. We are currently discussing this new role with clients and the business benefits it could bring. These include: offering more operations design flexibility through rapid iteration, giving more control over the project, enhanced performance measurement and a reduction in risk and cost of the project. We expect demand for Wagile Developers to rise next year.”



Also read:
Do organisations really need a ‘Chief IoT Officer’?
Fleeting strategic importance? 2016, the year of the CISO
Information Professionals: CIOs need to take the ‘I’ part of their job more seriously
Ping Identity CEO on the path to Chief Identity Officer
Can we prepare for the jobs that don’t exist yet?


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