Marketing is driving profound changes in the way organizations approach and consume IT resources. Savvy CIOs are taking note and adapting to a new technology order.
Gartner's Genovese says organizations must adopt a more flexible business and IT framework that recognizes the need to move faster and less formally than in the past. It's no longer possible to demand a business case for every initiative, particularly those focusing on marketing. "IT needs to understand that today's business environment changes incredibly quickly and a lot of the technology that marketing departments use is disposable. Maintaining too tight of a leash undermines the business," she explains.
A good starting point is to take on smaller projects and, in the process, develop a framework for collaboration, Genovese says. That can include greater transparency and new ways of working together, including shared office space. It's also worth rethinking job descriptions or creating new organizational roles, such as chief digital officer or chief marketing technologist. In addition, businesses must review metrics and KPIs to ensure that they are aligned across departmental boundaries. "When everyone wins, it's possible to build much greater synergy," says Genovese. She suggests that CIOs reject the notion that shadow IT is automatically evil and find ways to institutionalize adoption of new, different and sometimes rogue technologies.
One thing is certain. In an era that demands rapid change and innovation, CIOs must think differently about IT, including how to deploy and integrate marketing systems. Touch points and channels are changing, and the way consumers interact with businesses is undergoing a radical transformation. "CIOs and IT departments must move beyond protectionism," says Genovese. "Marketing executives must attempt to understand key IT issues and how they affect the enterprise. The end goal must be to create greater engagement and a vision that reaches across both functions."