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As the digital economy enters a new era, questions no longer revolve around whether we need to embrace digital transformation, but rather – how? Significant changes in terms of available digital tools and knowledge has produced as many unforeseen opportunities as it has challenges, calling for a new type of leader to navigate the expectations of an ever-changing digital world.

Despite popular assumptions about the CIO serving as the figurehead of these transformations, an Altimeter analyst has released groundbreaking findings that revealed CMOs (at 34%) currently hold most of the responsibility – with CIOs falling behind at a distant 19%.

Digital TransformationThis discovery has been causing a considerable amount of conversation. However, considering that customers are cited as the key force driving digital changes, with 55% of companies reporting “evolving customer behaviors and preferences” as the core reason for implementing digital initiatives, this does not come as a huge surprise.

While the CMO may play a significant role now, future developments could see this becoming a more collaborative effort. CIOs, CDOs, and CTOs will be required to unite under one vision to keep up with the ever-evolving digital market, guiding the use of digital tools to effectively impact sections of businesses across all levels.

Successful digital transformation is no easy feat, requiring varying roles and expertise to rewrite the structure of traditional companies. Not only will this impact the way companies work, communicate, and advertise with customers, but continued development throughout 2017 will completely shake up the status quo of existing structures.