Digital transformation has driven many substantial, strategic changes that will impact organizations for decades. One of the most important is the move to a customer-centric view of the business, utilizing game-changing digital systems that collect and analyze every detail of the customer experience (CX). Initially, marketing teams deployed and ran these systems. However, as these digital tools became mission-critical, CIOs and CMOs have started working as partners. This effort is another manifestation of how IT is moving from managing back-office functions to supporting digital tools that drive the business.\nToday\u2019s successful CIOs have moved from a focus on technology to a role of business strategist and leader. According to Cynthia Stoddard, CIO and senior vice president at Adobe, \u201cToday\u2019s CIOs need to have strong technology and business acumen. They play a strategic role with business strategy and digitization, so they need to understand the key metrics for business performance and how to improve those metrics. It\u2019s important for them to keep an eye on tech trends and constantly look around the corner for what\u2019s next.\u201d\nWhat\u2019s more, the CIO and the IT team must continually evolve to respond and align to the business needs. CX is a poster child for this.\nIt\u2019s important to understand how IT and CIO skills will be brought to bear for improving CX and the systems that are driving it. The technology quotient of improved CX is quite substantial. Leading firms are deploying new systems that work across channels, provide a 360-degree view of the customer, enable real-time personalization, and support very fine-grained analytics.\nCIOs and the IT team need to be strategic partners in creating, deploying, and operating the integrated data platform that will support these capabilities. This includes stitching together data from many different systems (CRM, financial, behavioral, and more).\n\u201cThis is where CIOs\u2019 roles are integral\u2014we are the data stewards,\u201d says Stoddard. \u201cWe have the knowledge and experience in integrating and harnessing big data at scale.\u201d\nPutting it all together\nIn addition, the IT team has a unique and deep understanding of the systems used by other functional disciplines\u2014critical knowledge for how to best integrate these disparate systems.\nAs a leader in digital systems that enable world-class CX, Adobe initially focused on addressing the needs of the CMO. But this has changed substantially.\n\u201cWhen Adobe first created the Digital Marketing category, our goal was to address the needs of the CMO,\u201d says Stoddard. \u201cBut as our role in the enterprise continued to grow, our scope has expanded. Now, delivering best-in-class CX is a C-level mandate and requires CMOs and CIOs to work closely together.\u201d\nA good example of this is the use of Adobe Experience Platform, at the heart of which is content and data to drive CX. This requires consolidating various enterprise data sets into one cohesive platform that provides true insights about customers\u2019 experiences. This is only possible when the CMO and CIO work together.\nThe breadth and comprehensive nature of digital CX tools require this partnership. Organizations that have \u201coperational silos\u201d will be unable to move with the necessary speed or as a coordinated entity. Marketing is now a data-driven discipline, requiring the expertise of both groups to get it right.\nFor more information on how CIOs and CMOs can lead the drive for competitive advantage through CX, click here.