Earlier this month, I participated in a panel discussion on CMO & CIO Engagement for SIM Charlotte. The evening event discussed the Evolving Roles of CIO+CMO and the Digital Marketing Trends Impacting IT. Joining me on the panel were Lisa McCarthy, president of Marcom, and Jack Rech, CIO of National Gypsum. Kelly Laughton, IBM Client Executive, moderated.
Kelly opened the conversation by sharing findings from IBM’s Global C-Suite Study, The Customer-activated Enterprise. As the study revealed, “CEOs consider technology the single most important external force shaping their organizations.” CIOs and CMOs are in alignment with each other regarding the top 3 external pressures on the business — market factors, technology factors and regulatory concerns. The number of companies with no or limited digital strategy was most surprising.
During the discussion, it became clear that there are natural tensions between marketing and IT. The marketing team is tasked with making a business stand out from the competition which it does by being a first-mover and shaking up the status quo. IT, on the other hand, is tasked with the keeping a business running smoothly and efficiently. So long as the departments are working together to realize the full potential of the organization, common ground can be reached. In less amicable companies, the tension can become unhealthy for the company as well as the employees.
Over the course of the evening, it was clear that despite the potential tension, the active collaboration between these two roles are critical to overall success of a modern company. Much like the alignment of sales and marketing, companies with better alignment between CIO and CMO are seeing more success.
How well aligned are these roles in your company?
William McKee is a founding partner of Knowmad. As a Web architect & Internet business consultant, he is passionate about applying business knowledge & technical expertise to deliver solutions that advance business online. With over 15 years of Web experience, his current work involves designing strategies and creating processes to help business attract, engage and convert website visitors into customers.