IT isn't doing enough to help drive revenue. Here's how it can become more relevant to the sales and marketing teams.
IT organizations have been internally focused during the past three years, working on virtualization, data center security, and other projects that make IT more productive and cost-efficient. IT groups didn't embrace cloud computing and mobility until those two megatrends smacked them in the head. Let's be clear: IT didn't lead the cloud movement; lines of business did, often routing around the IT organizations to get jobs done faster. Same story with mobile--IT said "no, no, no" to Apple and Android smartphones and tablets until company employees finally said they'd been using the devices for many months and weren't going back.
But sales teams haven't exactly been using technology to reinvent themselves. Just 35% of the 203 IT executives who responded to our InformationWeek 2012 Global CIO Survey say they have a major CRM implementation in place, though 38% plan one for this year or next. Here and there, companies are doing projects like sentiment analytics (to analyze what customers are saying about their products and brands on Facebook, blogs, and other mass media), but these tend to be isolated efforts led by a few data-minded marketers and aren't scaled out for everyday sales pros. And don't forget about all those e-commerce teams--orphaned groups rarely integrated with the rest of the sales team despite the business they're driving.
The reality is that technology has become--or must become--critical to the sales process, and IT needs to grease the skids. Customers are researching and buying in entirely new ways, using in-person, ...