Digital transformation may seem like a glimpse into the future as we start implementing artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robots, but companies have been driving toward this cloud-enabled, data-driven future for nearly 10 years. The technologies we\u2019re implementing may be new, but the problems transformation creates in the organization are not.\nTake the clash in the c-suite over who owns emerging technology, and who\u2019s responsible for it. The answer is never easy, and I\u2019ve seen it lead to lots of confusion and bickering between CMOs and CIOs, or CTOs and CDOs.\nFor example, who\u2019s responsible for mobile across the enterprise, or cloud? Even a small company may use half a dozen different public and hybrid clouds. With emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things, the roles are probably not pre-assigned.\nWhen companies are trying to move fast on digital transformation, executives can easily duplicate effort or clash over priorities. It\u2019s not uncommon for CMOs and CIOs to fight over who controls the budget for emerging technology. As measured in in PwC\u2019s Digital IQ study, the percentage of technology spending outside the CIO\u2019s budget has climbed steadily from 35 to 50 to 68 percent in our most recent report.\nIn the 19 percent of companies with a CDO or equivalent role, you might overhear gnashing of teeth within the C-suite over who controls the customer experience, product management, and back-office integration of flashy new experiences.\n\n\n\n\nWho owns the role?\n\n\nCIO\n\n\nCDO\n\n\nCMO\n\n\nCEO\n\n\nCFO\n\n\nBusiness Unit leaders\n\n\n\n\nIT and internally-focused strategic digital investments\n\n\n77%\n\n\n0%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n10%\n\n\n10%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n\n\nData and analytics\n\n\n50%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n14%\n\n\n2%\n\n\n32%\n\n\n\n\nDeveloping new digital services and business models\n\n\n48%\n\n\n4%\n\n\n15%\n\n\n22%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n7%\n\n\n\n\nSetting digital strategy\n\n\n43%\n\n\n3%\n\n\n2%\n\n\n48%\n\n\n0%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n\n\nPrioritizing digital investments\n\n\n33%\n\n\n4%\n\n\n4%\n\n\n49%\n\n\n8%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n\n\nInnovation and emerging technology investment\n\n\n32%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n0%\n\n\n34%\n\n\n18%\n\n\n13%\n\n\n\n\nUser experience design\n\n\n30%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n31%\n\n\n13%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n19%\n\n\n\n\nProduct-focused investments and activities\n\n\n17%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n6%\n\n\n32%\n\n\n32%\n\n\n9%\n\n\n\n\nCustomer-facing services and applications\n\n\n16%\n\n\n1%\n\n\n44%\n\n\n24%\n\n\n0%\n\n\n9%\n\n\n\n\nDigital marketing and customer engagement\n\n\n16%\n\n\n2%\n\n\n67%\n\n\n5%\n\n\n0%\n\n\n6%\n\n\n\n\nEven worse than infighting is ignoring the problem whenever the roles aren\u2019t clear. In those situations, the work simply doesn\u2019t get done or it gets done twice without coordination.\nGuiding the conversation\nThese are not new conflicts, but emerging technology gives them new urgency, with new complications. The solution isn\u2019t new either; it starts with a meaningful conversation, and maybe a back-of-the-envelope chart.\u00a0\nWhen I sit down with clients, I ask: What functions do you want to own, and what do you think you should own? Then the most telling question: What do you have the skills to own today? Starting by understanding each member of the C-suite\u2019s areas of strength reduces the friction and sets you up for success.\nKey members of the C-suite are responsible for a broad domain. The CEO is ultimately responsible for the business; the CMO for the customer experience; and the CIO\/CTO for the technology. But by applying a \u201cBXT\u201d framework (that combines the perspectives of Business, Experience, and Technology), organizations can then gain more clarity by looking through each lens (the B, X and T), and assign ownership of each new function.\nThe shape of the CDO role varies considerably depending on the company and the industry. In consumer-intensive sectors such as banking or retail, the CDO may report to the CMO or even CEO as a digital customer advocate; in industrial sectors, a CDO may work closely with or report to the CIO to scout digital ideas from outside the company.\nTo guide the conversation about who owns what, it might help to draw a Venn diagram, placing various functions in the Business, Experience, and Technology spheres. It also might help to fall back on a trusted business tool: the RACI matrix, identifying for each function who is:\n\nResponsible\nAccountable\nConsulted\nInformed\n\nAs you divide up roles and functions, ask: Is the function customer-facing? It probably belongs with the CMO and the Experience team. How much integration does it require? If it\u2019s significant, the CIO needs to be consulted and informed, if not responsible and accountable. Who has the skills needed to oversee the function successfully? Your best strategist, or your most creative disruptor may not be sitting in the chairs you expect.\nOf course, there will be functions that overlap. In those cases, the simplest solution is often to point to the executive who can deliver the innovation most quickly, without having to upskill or expand their budget significantly.\nJust by sitting down and drawing out the basic roles and responsibilities, companies can move past the conflict, and execute their digital transformation with purpose and speed. Successful digital transformations depend on collaboration and partnership within the company \u2013 and that\u2019s only possible when the roles are clear.