Rapidly changing digital business models mean chief supply chain officer's (CSCO) must keep up on the latest technology in order to remain relevant, according to a report from Gartner Inc.

The firm’s 2015 CEO and Senior Executive Survey explores the top initiatives and challenges of leaders across six global regions and a range of industries, including the supply-chain-intensive industries such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare and natural resources.

CEOs' plans for technology investment continue to focus heavily on the front office, the research firm says, but is also aimed at operations areas such as supply chain optimization and product cost.

"CSCOs and other executives in industries that are highly dependent on effective supply chain management (SCM) should recognize and highlight the dependencies and impacts between various enabling technology initiatives," Dana Stiffler, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement.

"For example, changes to customer experience management, the number one priority investment, must be translated into action by supply chain and operations to deliver benefit,” Stiffler said. “Likewise, digital marketing initiatives in supply-chain-dependent industries will underperform if they are not coordinated with supply chain."

With CEOs increasingly concerned about operational excellence, the CSCO's primary role continues to be “bimodal” in nature, with the ability to balance efficiency and cost reductions with growth-supporting capabilities, according to Gartner.

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