Forget about chief digital officers (CDOs). The CIO will step up to lead digital business transformation in 2015 — or risk being usurped by another digitally savvy executive who recognizes the opportunity. By creating a functional relationship with the chief marketing officer (CMO), successful CIOs in 2015 will eliminate the chatter about needing a CDO.

That’s just one of three predictions Forrester makes in a new report. In addition, Forrester sees the CIO accelerating the business technology agenda — the systems, processes, and technologies to win, serve, and retain customers — further aligning her with the CMO.

Finally, The CIO will be in the best position to aggregate and orchestrate a broad data strategy for the business — including data protection.

Learn more about the research here.