Ambidextrous Attitude

The potential in the organisation

Ambidexterity - sounds like a medical issue…

… but is in fact an organisational solution

Delivering results today while laying foundations for the business of tomorrow – IT departments often find themselves caught between two conflicting aims. On the one side there is the desire for stable, cost-optimised day-to-day business. On the other side there are new business applications for which state-of-the-art technology is indispensable. The term “ambidextrous attitude” describes an organisational approach that takes both of these opposing requirements into account.

You need two strong hands to bring both strategies together in an organisation:

  • The role of Chief Digital Officer (CDO) as a driver of transformation
  • The role of Chief Information Officer (CIO) with knowledge and expertise of data and technologies

Ambidextrous attitude opens up new opportunities:


New School of IT stands for IT that is more than simply a cost factor, developing into a business enabler and a central driver of innovation and efficiency.


New School of IT stands for IT redefined: moving away from conventional heads of IT towards CIOs and CDOs in a digital and ambidextrous organisation.

Ambidextrous attitude is the answer to the new role played by IT in a business context. After all, specialist IT knowledge and abilities can make a real difference in critical areas. IT is not a corporate department, it is the breeding ground for successful businesses. But a new culture and a new type of organisational structure are required to leverage the full potential.

  • The CDO’s primary focus is the business, the market, the products and the company’s digital innovation. The CDO must have in-depth knowledge of digital technologies to perform this role.
  • The CIO contributes the IT competencies and focuses on aspects such as cost efficiency and smooth operations.

These roles can overlap once business models become data-driven, which is why combining them by applying an ambidextrous attitude is so important. A variety of organisational models are possible:

  • CDO and CIO report to the CEO
  • CDO and CIO roles are held by the same person

The benefits to IT: Re-positioning away from a pure cost factor to a business-shaping unit.

Recommendations for action for a new role of IT in the company

  • Identify own strategic capabilities in relation to the core business of the company
  • Culture of respect between CDO and CIO Knowledge and understanding of different areas of responsibility, requirements, cultures and goals
  • No outsourcing of digital aspects outside of the core organisation CDO and CIO are integral parts of the company.

Do you have any questions about the New School of IT?

What the New School of IT is also changing: no technology can replace face-to-face dialogue. Let's talk about your vision.


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