Does Your Company Need A Chief Digital Officer? My Conversation With SAP’s Jonathan Becher

Published March 21, 2016 by Bruce Rogers, Forbesforbes logo

As the Chief Digital Officer of SAP, Jonathan Becher is tasked with building a new business unit with SAP that will help people discover, try, buy, and use SAP offerings in a simple, entirely digital interaction. Previously, he was SAP’s chief marketing officer (CMO). He joined SAP from its acquisition of  Pilot Software where he was President and CEO. In this article, Bruce Rogers recounts his conversation with Jonathan on the emerging role of the Chief Digital Officer.

Bruce Rogers:  It’s been a little over a year since you moved from the CMO role at SAP to a newly created position as Chief Digital Officer.  Tell us about your role.

Jonathan Becher:  I have what I describe as a T-shaped role inside the organization, and you’ll remember lots of people have talked about T-shaped roles in the past, McKinsey is always big on that as a background model, but the downward spike, the vertical bar of the T is designed to build a new business unit whose mission statement is to allow anybody in the world to be able to buy and to use an SAP offering, and maybe eventually a third-party offering, with little to no human interaction.

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