IT and Marketing Teams are Collectively Driving the Digital Transformation

By Martech Outlook | Thursday, August 29, 2019

The CIOs and the CMOs must work together to ensure the success and viability of any new technology investment

FREMONT, CA: With technological advancements transforming every facet of our lives, firms are trying to connect different verticals to maximize their throughputs. Customer expectations are also growing simultaneously. Companies are increasingly investing in the latest app, tool, or platform to keep up with those expectations. However, the smartest marketers often consider their larger business aims before putting their money into new technology. They weigh the various aspects such as whether a tool will impact their business or are they tempted by the change by merely looking their competitors who are doing the same.

 With the emergence of cloud-based solutions and SaaS, marketing has been less dependent on IT to assess and implement new technology. On top of it, the chief information officer (CIO) and the chief marketing officer (CMO) haven’t been in the best of terms historically. CIOs seldom make decisions as quickly as the CMO, whereas CMOs tends to focus on innovation and consider standardization, established processes, or security concerns later. However, several researches have shown that marketing and IT have more reasons than ever to consider finding common ground. Unifying around shared business aims and communicating with the language of experience, marketing and IT have immense potential to make smarter technology investments. A company where the IT leaders spend time to understand the goals of the firm will continue to enjoy a better position at the strategy table.

Changing Role of the CIO

Almost since its inception, IT has played the role of technology steward. They have mitigated risks, maintained systems, and ensured compliance. The role is quickly changing, though. Today’s CIOs have to navigate the waters of a rapidly evolving digital economy and an evolving enterprise. However, IT needs to transform too digitally. It’s time for the IT sector to shift from a maintenance role to an innovative partner with the CIOs leading the charge.

 Digital transformation has forced the IT leaders to think more like business leaders who are expected to carry the business forward. They are assigned the task of developing innovative business modules, ensuring seamless integration, implementing new technology, and assisting in showcasing a return on technology investments. Today, CIOs are more likely to concentrate on nurturing innovation and talent across the business, and on the purchase of a range of technologies.

What Does it Mean for the CMOs?

For CMOs, the evolving role of CIOs comes with some added responsibilities on the collaboration and partnership department. The CIOs and the CMOs need to work together at the top of the hierarchy to ensure the success and viability of a new technology investment. CMOs that bind their technology department into buying decisions at an early stage can ensure that each system works seamlessly and every technology investment is doing good to the business, rather than merely following a flashy trend.

 Fostering Innovation and Ensuring Security

Customer experience is of primary essence in the digital age. Personalized experiences are trending as the customers are getting used to them. For marketers, it means providing the customers with innovative and seamless experiences on each device. However, failing to collaborate with the IT department well in advance of the implementation can negatively impact customer experience down the road. Thus from partnering with a vendor that may not stay in business to safeguarding data security, identifying risks is crucial.

 Using Experience as a Means to Communicate

Marketing people often state that it’s difficult to interact with their IT counterparts while the IT people complain that marketing people are not good at communicating what they need. While each group may have their own reason, the language they both should use is the language of experience. Doing so will not only reduce friction and confusion but also help in keeping the individuals focused on the end goal.

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