Book Review: Isaac Sacolick’s ‘Driving Digital’

In an era that is increasingly dependent on analytics and evaluation tools such as Big Data, Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management and Business Intelligence, the almighty CMO has had to increasingly share his or her glory (and budget) with CIOs and other tech leaders. The power roles played by tech leaders will only be getting stronger, argues technologist Isaac Sacolick in his new book, Driving Digital.

These days, a flurry of C-Level tech roles have emerged. Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers, for instance, keep corporate systems running smoothly with the incorporation of strategic technology. Chief Digital Officer roles focus entirely on running digital resources within the company. The overlap between tech roles has become ever more important with the emergence of critical mobile, social and cloud-based solutions.

The key is to coordinate marketing and technology strategies, says Sacolick. “Did you partner with marketing to improve lead conversion or efficiently generate new mobile and Web customer experiences?” he asks. “Did you enable employees to bring in their own mobile devices and launch collaboration tools so that the global organization could share information and innovate on new ideas? If you are a technology leader and didn’t do some of these things, chances are you were replaced or will be soon.”

The book is compellingly written, giving fresh insight into the role of technology officers. It also provides valuable playbook-like chapters on incorporating agile practices — the adoption of incremental solutions and constant assessment of progress. For Sacolick, such agile tech is the only way to succeed in today’s ver.1, ver.2, ver.3, software-driven environment.

To me, as a civilian technologist, Driving Digital is often revelatory as to how technology decisions are ideally fostered. It also works as an excellent complement to Scott Brinker’s excellent Hacking Marketing, which last year provided insights into the new generation of Mar/Tech.

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