You might be asking, \u201cWhat is driving digital,\u201d or more broadly, \u201cwhat is digital transformation?\u201d Most importantly, how should CIO approach this opportunity to either lead the enterprise\u2019s digital strategy or at least have a significant role in driving the transformation? How can CIO expand their role beyond back office technology steward to front office growth enabler? Understanding the difference between these two objectives is critical for CIO to be successful in their role and for the future of their business.\nDifferent surveys are showing varying metrics on who is leading these efforts. For example,. Gartner is very favorable to CIO showing that 34 percent are led by CIO\/IT, but Altimeter\u2019s 2016 survey shows that 34 percent are led by the CMO and only 19 percent by the CIO. \u00a0If it\u2019s not the CMO or the CIO, then it\u2019s likely that the CEO or Chief Digital Officer is driving the digital strategy and priorities. The person leading it must have researched market opportunities, interviewed key customers on their needs, and demonstrated successful transformational change across the organization.\u00a0\nRegardless of who is leading the effort, success only comes through execution especially around new practices, technologies, and culture. That\u2019s why having leaders that can truly \u201cDrive digital\u201d is critical, and I believe that CIO with skills and experiences leading initiatives, introducing new business processes, and driving financial benefits through technology are best to own the overall execution.\nDigital transformation start with customer experience\nWhat\u2019s different about digital transformation compared to other enterprise programs is that it\u2019s a growth and survival strategy. It targets developing new digital businesses and maturing digital capabilities around existing products that must deliver amazing customer experiences. Your customers and prospects have overwhelming options selecting products, services and partners that can address their needs. Products with simple experiences that deliver value will attract new customers while ones with inferior experiences will likely lose out over time.\u00a0\nThe transformation often begins by articulating a digital strategy from understanding customer needs, identifying target markets, defining customer segments, and building out personas. Each persona defines a specific user type with different needs, values, and expectations. The objective is to redefine simplified digital and real-world journeys for each persona that addresses their needs and demonstrates value.\nWhat do journeys look like? Digital paths may show how a prospect responds to a social media campaign, reviews interesting content on the website, and fills out a form requesting more information. You might have a customer that makes a purchase in a store, then comes online to request technical support. If implemented correctly, the underlying systems are capturing the source of the activity, metadata on any content consumed, and the result of any actions. All of this information is used to extrapolate a persona and optimize follow up interactions and experiences.\nDigital experiences driven by CRM, CMS, and analytics\nWhat CIO should realize that many of these journeys flow through systems they already manage. The journeys will likely be triggered through marketing activities, flow through the corporate website, and directed to a sales pipeline. Technologies such as the marketing automation platforms and tools, CMS, analytics platforms, and CRM are some of the core systems most enterprises need to invest in to drive improvements. In fact, a recent CMSWire poll identifies these as the top technologies used to improve digital customer experience.\nIn that same survey, only 25 percent report that they are going to be reusing existing technologies, implying that many businesses are reconsidering new platforms and tools that drive digital experiences. Many will revisit their CMS platforms to see if they are easy to use, mobile friendly, and drive desired business outcomes. It\u2019s likely that marketers will want to review content publishing workflows, and enhance analytics to ensure that data on the full user\u2019s journey is captured.\nEven if a new CMS isn\u2019t the objective, it\u2019s likely the organization will consolidate platforms if multiple ones exist, upgrade versions, enhance the implementation, or integrate data with other enterprise systems. This should be good news to CIO seeking business cases to drive ROI, increase usage, and standardize technologies.\nEnterprises likely have CRM platforms selected, but digital transformation often requires improved forecasting, more rigor around sales pipelines, and additional analytics. These can be addressed by establishing workflows, training users, and enabling a data driven culture.\nCIO must drive deep into practices and analytics\nTo be successful, CIO must fully understand current usage of the existing platforms and recommend what changes are needed to drive winning customer experiences. In the report, Defend, Disrupt, and Transform: The Critical Role of the Marketing Technologist in the Digital Era, CRM, analytics, web design, and CMS as the most important job skills to the future of the marketing function. If these are the skills and platforms required, CIO have the opportunity to drive the priorities, practices, and skill enablement in these functional areas.\nThat\u2019s one way CIO can drive digital.