Let\u2019s do some role profiling here.\nAligning people and issues with solutions, creating clarity and action, persuading buy-in, and bringing the disparate elements together for business outcomes.\nWhich of the two \u2013 CIO or CMO \u2013 does that describe?\nThe answer is both, of course, especially when the link is the enterprise undertaking digital transformation. \u201cDigital transformation\u201d is a term thrown around too much, and that is because it lacks a foundational definition \u2013 but since communicating digital transformation is actually my job, I find it more compelling to take a business context, not a technology context. I describe it as \u201cthe opportunity to bridge the gap between the traditional physical world and new digital ambition, in order to create new value streams.\u201d\nThis is why the role profile above is common to both. The CIO and CMO must team up to be mutually effective, benefiting from transformed systems, intelligence, and workflows that deliver meaningful customer experiences, and for competitive reasons more compelling than they were before.\nOK, so that\u2019s a writer, whose job is marketing, saying that. Not enough? Well, here\u2019s an extract from the World Economic Forum\u2019s manifesto:\n\u201cNever have we been so aware of our dependence on digital models, and we are not going back. With the power of digital technology so very visible, leading companies must now use technology to transform business itself to deliver for a broader set of stakeholders.\u201d\nHere\u2019s more for you\u2026.Companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards\u00a0by nearly 80%. Tie that in with an August 2020 KPMG survey which states 60% of CEOs said they are \u201cmore confident\u201d in the growth trajectories of their companies over the next three years than they were at the beginning of the year. So, proven outcomes from improving the customer experience, tied-in with confidence in business growth. It strongly suggests that CMOs and CIOs should become comfortable bedfellows.\nLet\u2019s go back to the profiling\u2026\nThe CIO\u2019s mandate is all systems, both customer-facing and internal. We know that more and more this involves capturing and interpreting market and customer data through artificial intelligence derived from data sensors. In turn, IT leaders supply the capabilities needed to meet Line of Business demands for agility and speed.\nThe CMO\u2019s mandate is to apply the derived customer intelligence, needs, and habits, and profile customers down to the individual level, to create an experience that meets the customer wherever, whenever, and on any device.\nUnderstanding the customer is therefore central to both mandates. The CIO needs to connect technology capabilities all the way from the customer interaction back to the workload related to the customer, sitting on the chosen infrastructure platform. The CMO needs an entire profile of the customer, and the CIO builds the systems in order to create the profile.\nIn the current climate, businesses who fail to understand the importance of the digital customer experience will undoubtedly fall behind. Embracing the customer as a digital experience is essential for business competitiveness and even survival.\nOne of my favorite examples of the power of the digital customer experience should be familiar to most of us\u2026 online grocery shopping. During the pandemic, grocery stores of all sizes were immediately hit, globally, by their customers\u2019 inability to shop traditionally. Now, through an incredible speed of development of online shopping, the physical customer experience is rapidly giving way to the new digital experience.\nIn mid-September 2020 Kroger (KR) posted an impressive 127% second quarter surge in its digital sales. Sales associates, synonymous with check-out and shelf-stocking, now collect online orders and deliver them to car trunks. So much is this the case Kroger hired 40,000 more operatives to handle it. Similar stories abound at Target and Walmart.\nThere is no doubt people are shopping differently. Behaviour is changing, now more rapidly on the basis of our 2020 experiences and limitations, but it has translated into an imperative for enterprises. If we can track our pizza order to the extent we know when the cheese is being sprinkled onto the base, then our banks and other preferred brands better provide similar depths of experience, otherwise we are lost to them.\nHow does this translate into digital transformation approaches?\nThere is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital transformation. Each enterprise or organization must become acquainted with each of its customers as a 1:1-level relationship, which ensures differences in approach.\nThe answer will guide how digital transformation needs to proceed in the organisation. It is likely nothing, be it a marketing campaign, a workflow process, a personal role, or a function will remain untouched. This is because the journey from the digital customer experience all the way to enterprise architecture touches everything in between \u2013 edge sensors, data and data science, security, application development, enterprise software, and IT infrastructure platforms.\nThat journey requires mapping to capture, collaboratively, what is needed as technology capabilities, as well as the respective capabilities of people and processes. In other words, there\u2019s a new operating model, and the CMO and CIO are at the center of it in a highly mutual way. The entire thing disrupts established norms, and as such, requires high-level vision, with perspectives, formed by the enterprise\u2019s circumstances and resources, that are supported by technology but delivered by people.\nIt is best, then, to view digital transformation in journey-orchestration terms rather than technology terms. It is no coincidence that most corporate-wide digital transformation attempts fail, but they fail because of people and process issues versus technology. I recently built a visual to illustrate this point, reproduced below, that captures the top 10 reasons for stalled transformation (according to the Harvard Business Review). It makes the point well.\n\nDigital transformation journeys require that the C-suite unites. It also requires the organization chain to change the individual mind-set that is inside-out to a collective mind-set that is outside-in. Back to my role profiling at the top of the article \u2013 aligning people and issues with solutions together for business outcomes in practice means preparing for those future business outcomes, while delivering better customer value today.\nThat means a CIO-CMO partnership along the entire customer experience value chain, the visibility of that being a clear indicator of the mutual success of these two individuals. They may have started out as strange bedfellows, but their advantage is to get acquainted, fast.\nFor more information on HPE\u2019s remote working solutions, visit\u00a0www.hpe.com\/digitaltransformation.For further information please reach out to email@example.com.\n____________________________________\nAbout Ian Jagger\n\nJagger is the creator and writer of HPE Pointnext Services narrative, focused on digital transformation, linking technology capabilities expertise with business goals.A Chartered Marketer, his experience spans strategic development and planning for Start-ups through to content creation, thought leadership, AR\/PR, campaign program building and execution for Enterprise. Successful solution launches include HPE Digital Next Advisory, HPE Right Mix Advisor, and HPE Micro Datacenter.