The CIO/CMO Disconnect: Is Rogue IT a Threat to this Partnership?

Friedenberg 360

Marketing technology increasingly has cross-functional implications, which are pulling the CIO and CMO roles together for collaboration to drive the business forward. With that said, in our recent study on the CIO/CMO Partnership, there does appear to be a disconnect within these functions on which group is responsible for driving investment in specific technologies. In the majority of instances IT drives investment but shares responsibility with marketing, sales and operations for customer-facing tools.

The study looked at seven technology areas: Big Data and Segment Analysis; Cloud Computing; Consumerization of IT; CRM and Demand Generation Tools; Customer Service Systems; Mobile; and Social Media. The largest disconnect was in big data and segment analysis. CMOs believe that they have a larger role in this area, with 33% saying marketing drives investment compared to the 22% who believe IT drives investment in this area. This contrasts with 42% of CIOs who believe that IT is driving investment in this area, compared to 13% of CIOs who believe marketing is driving investment. The only consensus is seen in cloud computing and consumerization of IT, where both CIOs and CMOs agree that IT holds primary responsibility for driving the investments, and social media, where within both groups marketing is considered the major driver.

Budget for marketing technology investments live in both the CIO’s and CMO’s budget (12.3% and 15.75% respectively), and the good news is that these budgets are expected to grow. Although marketing has a slightly higher budget, adopting these solutions requires multiple teams, specifically a collaboration of IT and marketing, in order to produce positive business results.

Gartner predicts that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. This seems like a bit of hype when you look at the technology cycles we’re experiencing in Enterprise IT. Many savvy CIO’s see no threat from ‘rogue IT’ and recognize that individual business unit priorities may differ from overall IT business priorities at certain points in the tech maturity cycle. The question is how we do work through that with communication and map back toward integration when the time is right? The fact is that marketing cannot achieve true ROI until automation tools are tied to backend data from a wide range of enterprise departments. This requires integration. This requires collaboration. This is the same cycle we’ve seen in other departments such as sales automation where CRM systems are now increasingly tied into backend financial and operational systems. This maturity cycle should be embraced.

IT marketers – now is the time to strengthen the CIO/CMO relationship to ensure that marketing technology investments will drive business results.

Do you believe rogue IT is a threat or an opportunity?

Source: CIO/CMO Partnership Survey, CIO, 2013

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