In the last eight years, social media, mobile apps, cloud computing and big data have made it a digital world. Now we are in that phase where we try to figure out what it all means and find out where the new opportunities are in this new world.
Since digital is what IT is all about, it follows that IT and marketing groups need to be collaborating in a big way. The CIO/CMO partnership should be one of the biggest win-win, career-enhancing opportunities around. We should be hearing all kinds of CIO/CMO buddy stories, and inspiring tales of great things achieved and more great things in the works. But those tales are few and far between. Why?
In many companies (maybe even most) the CIOs and IT groups report to CFOs and COOs, and marketing and customer experience issues are often not high priorities for CFOs and COOs. At the same time, CMOs are under increasing pressure to do something (as shown by the high turnover rates in that position), so they go with whatever solution they can find today, and deal with the technology consequences later.
This social/mobile/cloud/big data technology that CMOs are trying to figure out how to use is front-office technology in every sense of the word. It is customer-facing and integral to any company's ability to find and satisfy customers. It is quite different from traditional back-office finance and operations-oriented technology such as ERP systems, server farms and websites. But without effective involvement of their in-house IT groups, marketing groups will turn to outsiders and "depend on the kindness of strangers" as the saying goes. Bad decisions will be made as a consequence.