There is no doubt that the digital revolution is here to stay. From disruptive industry game-changers like Uber to innovative, incremental operational changes and new thinking about core business models, digital transformation has led the entire IT organization to shift and evolve. At the same time, the C-suite and board of directors increasingly sees digital as a top priority across all lines of business. In fact, more organizations have enterprise-wide digital strategies, up to 35 percent this year from 27 percent last year, according to the Harvey Nash\/KPMG 2016 CIO Survey, The Creative CIO.\u00a0\nBut who is the \u201cboss\u201d of this digital transformation? The CIO seems a natural fit since the digital revolution has fundamentally changed the CIO role. Today\u2019s CIO has morphed into a transformational business leader, technology strategist and business model innovator.\u00a0\nOn the other hand, what about the Chief Digital Officer \u2014 the CDO \u2014 \u00a0if there is one? Or the marketing organization \u2014 isn\u2019t digital their turf? And what\u2019s at stake for CIOs who sit on the sidelines?\nMarc Snyder, managing director and head of KPMG\u2019s CIO Advisory Global Centre of Excellence, maintains there isn\u2019t any individual who serves as a \u201cboss\u201d when it comes to digital transformation. However, The Creative CIO makes it clear the CIO can and should take the lead in what needs to be a collaborative effort across the entire organization.\n\u201cDigital transformation is really about business transformation \u2014 that is the real value,\u201d he says. \u201cTherefore, it\u2019s about a joint set of initiatives requiring collaboration for which the CIO should be prepared to have a leadership role.\u201d\u00a0\nWho Owns Digital Strategy?\nFor The Creative CIO, Harvey Nash\/KPMG asked respondents, \u201cwho owns digital strategy?\u201d The number one answer, or 36 percent of this year\u2019s respondents, said the board or C-suite executives own digital strategy. Increasingly, though, organizations are expecting their CIO to lead the delivery of that digital strategy, which Snyder describes as a sign that organizations are moving toward more \u201cstrategic versus tactical responses.\u201d\nThis is a shift from previous Harvey Nash\/KPMG CIO surveys, which found marketing to be the likely leader of digital strategy \u2014 perhaps a natural home for strategies related to changing the way companies relate to their customers. This year, however, marketing found itself at the bottom at 9 percent \u2014 behind the board and C-Suite, as well as IT (16 percent) and a combination of IT and marketing (14 percent).\n\u201cThis result is due to a recognition that CIOs need to be involved in the digital transformation so they can make sure that capabilities being built are sustainable and integrated across the business,\u201d says Snyder.\u00a0\nAs for the Chief Digital Officer, the growth in organization having someone in this role is leveling off rather than growing strongly \u2014 making it less likely for a CDO to take the digital strategy lead. Last year there was evidence of a big jump in the number of CDOs \u2014\u00a017 percent in 2015 over 7 percent in 2014, which Harvey Nash found to be the largest year-over-year increase in any role they tracked. But in 2016, only 19 percent of organizations have CDOs \u2014 a signal, says Snyder, that the CIO has grown into that role to a point that many companies feel it is unnecessary.\nThe CIO Can\u2019t Go It Alone \u2014 but Must Prepare to Lead\nMore and more, the CIO is taking a leadership role in digital strategy. When it comes to digital transformation, however, the CIO can\u2019t go it alone. Digital transformation requires collaboration, and a joint set of initiatives that combine business and technology.\n\u201cWe\u2019re not just talking about IT for IT\u2019s sake, but about innovation with the business around business capabilities,\u201d says Snyder. Digital disruption, he explains, is no longer just about developing new business models \u2014\u00a0which was the biggest expectation last year. In 2016, expectations have shifted to focus on digital transformation in the form of new and innovative products and services, as well as new forms of customer engagement.\u00a0\n\u201cThat\u2019s why digital transformation must be done collaboratively,\u201d says Snyder. \u201cYou can\u2019t do this without the rest of the business...it is the business.\u201d\nStill, the creative-minded CIO can use IT teams and services to their best advantage to deliver technology-enabled capabilities to the business, using them as a \u201ctest-bed\u201d to drive innovation and the execution of digital strategy. There is still room for improvement here, according to the Harvey Nash\/KPMG survey: Only 31 percent of respondents have a formal process to allocate resources to drive technology-enabled innovation across IT and the business.\nIn addition, Snyder points out, CIOs need to reduce the complexity and redundancy within an organization\u2019s technology. \u201cThey need to aggressively simplify the IT estate,\u201d he says, so the organization can be more agile \u2014 this is not just about adopting agile development methods but rather developing a competency and culture across the business of being agile.\n\u201cThere is a speed gap \u2014 \u00a0a gap between the pace at which the IT organization CAN deliver and the pace they NEED to deliver technology-enabled capabilities to the business,\u201d says Snyder. \u201cThe important thing, I think, is how CIOs will close those speed gaps by becoming more agile at scale \u2014 that is with the entire business.\u201d\nIf the CIO is not prepared to lead, says Snyder, they need to \u201cget out of the way and let business move on.\u201d To prepare to lead in the realm of digital transformation and strategy, they need to develop a clear vision, a nimble culture and a trained, qualified workforce with the skills to handle these changes.\u00a0\nThe Creative CIO survey found that the visionaries with that kind of clear enterprise-wide strategy are the ones outperforming their peers \u2014 and now more and more CIOs are following that path, toward a mature, company-wide, collaborative approach to the wild, woolly world of digital.\nThe CIO may not be the \u201cboss\u201d of digital transformation, but they share an ownership role with partners across the organization. Make no mistake: companies are looking to the CIO to take a leadership role when it comes to digital, in order to shepherd the rest of the business toward transformative digital success.