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Cio News & Analysis

Navigating the Intersection of IT and Business

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Which side are you on: IT or the business?

This “them vs. us” mentality used to be common among IT professionals when it came to getting along with co-workers outside of their department. And it put CIOs in a challenging position: caught like a referee in the middle, rather than a coach calling the plays.

Although there's no silver bullet to transform the relationship between IT and the business in the short-term, the issue has a solution. CIOs can lead the charge and extend an olive branch by getting a better understanding of business-wide objectives, making an effort to enhance communication, and implementing technology that has greater usability across the enterprise. Putting these three tactics into action can be a game-changer for not only IT, but the business as a whole.

Deja Vu Research: CIOs, CMOs Need to Get Along

Gartner is echoing what Forrester Research revealed last week: CIOs and CMOs have to improve their abilities to cooperate.

In a report suggesting IT Leaders Will Need to Develop a Stronger Relationship with Marketing this year, Gartner analysts note that both CMO’s and CIO’s will be forced to work together as content personalization becomes increasingly important and enterprise invest in more marketing technology.

It duplicated findings from Forrester Research’s Cliff Condon, who suggested last week that the current relationship between CIO’s and CMO’s is too loose for company success — and that greater cooperation is essential. While more than 60 percent of CMOs and CIOs told Forrester that they enjoy a relationship of mutual trust and respect, only 46 percent of marketing leaders and 51 percent of technology management leaders have a single view of their customer across all the company’s touchpoints, Condon wrote.

Just How Much Must the CMO and CIO Work Together?

Forrester Research says a strengthened relationship between the CMO and CIO will be paramount for companies' success in 2015.

Shocked? Neither are we. This executive relationship -- and how it must be tightened, glued, bonded and sealed -- has been bandied about before. 

Marketing and information technology leaders reached by CMSWire agree the CIO-CMO is an important relationship in the executive scheme of things.

But just how important depends, they say.

"While there is no doubt that the CIO-CMO relationship is key to success in the digital age, the same applies to relationships across the C-suite," said Ian Cox, a London-based author who was a finalist for the British Computer Society’s CIO of the Year award in 2011 and was also ranked among the top 100 UK CIOs for 2012 by CIO Magazine.

Pushing the CIO and CMO Closer Together

2014-26-November-Closer.jpgIn years past the chief marketing officers and chief information officers had their own discrete functions to perform within the company -- with the twain rarely having to meet.

Clearly that is not true any more as digital marketing becomes a larger and larger component of a company's overall marketing operations. Despite this trend, CIOs and CMOs have not moved to anything approaching true collaboration, according to the findings of a Forrester/Forbes Insights survey. While progress has been made in establishing foundational aspects of trust, organizational skills and process, it concludes, "bold leadership is needed to turn this initial work into client results."

IBM Aims to Ease Mobile Enterprise Management

2014-25-November-IBM Mobile.jpgPity the chief information officer, who has faced waves of new challenges over the past few years as the mobile enterprise gained steam.

First, workers brought their own devices to work and demanded network access. Then mobile workers wanted remote access to business apps across all brands of tablets and phones. And all the while concerns about budgets, security and administration grew nearly as fast as the number of users.

It's not over. Juniper Research predicts that there will be 1 billion worker-owned smartphones and tablets connected to enterprises by 2018. Getting an upper hand on this means finding ways to monitor adoption rates, improve the worker experience, keep a tight lid on security and do it all within budget. 

Workplace Lessons From a Beehive

2014-24-October-Beekeepers.jpgWhat could a company learn from a beehive? After my first three months as a beekeeper and seven years in the CMS industry, I've found out the answer -- quite a bit.

Why CEOs and Other Top Execs Need CIOs - and the IT Team

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As a customer-focused business leader, you may not like IT. You may even think everyone in the IT department is socially awkward because they spend more time interacting with computers than people.

But whether you like it or not, if you want to close sales you’re going to have to invite IT to your business meetings.

Perish the thought that anyone from IT will sit in on a sales call. However, it's important to sit down with your IT team and listen to what each person has to say about the state of your technology. Otherwise, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t have to worry about sales calls.

There won’t be too many of them.

Discussion Point: Will the CMO Replace the CIO?

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You've heard it at technology conferences, you've read it in research reports, maybe you've even shared it at the water cooler.

CMOs drive technology decisions today. The CIO's job is obsolete. Soon we won't need CIOs.

It's not a new debate. By now, the topic is covered regularly in the media, including CMSWire. Take a look at headlines like "Goodbye CIO? Why the Role May Ultimately Disappear" and "Should the CIO Report to the CMO?"  Sometimes, it's a plea for survival: "Hey, CMO! Hey, CIO! Work Together or Lose Everything."

Yes, today's CMOs are expected to be technology-savvy managers with a hunger for big data, digital asset management, marketing automation and predictive analysis. They will own revenue goals and formulate sales projections for the CFO based on dashboards they monitor by the hour. 

But, honestly, do they even want to take on the responsibilities of an enterprise CIO? We decided to put the question before four experts who deal with this issue every day -- two technologists and two marketers. 

Can't You Just Get Along? CIO, CMO = No Strong Bond

In a digital world, marketing and IT functions have become inextricably linked. But are the players in each space getting along?

Not necessarily, according to a 2014 Accenture Interactive report  that shows that chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) don’t always share a strong bond.

To create its 2014 report, “Cutting across the CMO-CIO divide: Digital drives a new wave of collaboration,” Accenture Interactive polled an international group of more than 1,100 senior marketing and IT executives. The results found that while the relationship between these the holders of these two job titles has improved considerably over the past few years, there remains room for improvement.

“While 43 percent of marketers and 50 percent of IT leaders think their relationship with the other has improved over the past year, less than one-quarter (23 percent) of marketers think the level of collaboration between CMOs and CIOs and their organizations is at or approaching the ‘right level’ now,” according to the report.

The Myth of Cooperation Between Marketers and IT Pros

digital marketing, Marketers Working with IT Professionals: Total Myth?

Wait, what? Only about one out of four marketers describe marketing and IT as strategic partners.

We thought we were in the "Marketing and IT, Sitting in a Tree..." era? All we seem to hear is how marketing and IT must work together, break down silos and even report to one another.

What happened to all that? But the statistics are hard to deny. A full 74 percent of marketers dismisses the wishful thinking about marketers and techies living happily together, according to the Teradata Data-Driven Marketing Survey 2013.

So what to do? Teradata thinks it can help.

The analytic data platforms, marketing applications and services company in partnership with Forbes Insights today released a new research study for CMOs and other senior marketing decision makers worldwide titled, “Breaking Down Marketing Silos: The Key to Consistently Achieving Customer Satisfaction and Improving Your Bottom Line.”

Missing the Boat on IT and Technology

2014-29-April-Ship-Launch.jpgWhen you look at surveys of CEOs, such as the one by PwC in 2014, McKinsey in 2013 and IBM in 2012, they reflect what we should all know: that the innovative use of technology is one of, if not the primary, enabler of business innovation these days.

Whether it’s connecting with the customer (as referenced by IBM), obtaining market insights (through analytics including big data analytics -- see this discussion of a McKinsey report), or simply finding new ways to deliver products and services to customers, technology is a critical driver of business success.

In Defense of the CIO: Why the Role is Important

customer experience, In Defense of the CIO: Why the Role Will Not Fade Away

We've said a lot about the chief information officer this month.

The CIO role will fade away. CIOs should report to CMOs. Innovation escapes CIOs because they don't have the time.

So what do you think, Mr. CIO?

Mr. CIO for us today is Ian Cox, who was a finalist for the British Computer Society’s CIO of the Year award in 2011 and was also ranked among the top 100 UK CIOs for 2012 by CIO Magazine.

Will the role of the CIO fade away?

"The suggestion that the executive functions of the CIO could be subsumed within another C-level role is to misunderstand and grossly undervalue the role of the CIO," the London-based Cox told CMSWire. "In effect it is saying that what a CIO does can easily be done by another C-level role, that being a CIO doesn’t require specialist knowledge or skills in the same way as other senior roles do. This couldn’t be further from the truth."

CIOs Say There's No Time to Innovate

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Most of the readers coming to our site rank working with a good team ahead of other factors in terms of job satisfaction. Even more so than being paid fairly.

A lot of those readers are CIOs.

So while we know what's making some CIOs happy at work, how are they spending their work days? Constellation Research reports that while CIOs prefer to spend their time on innovation projects, most spend their time trying to reduce the cost of IT delivery.

The findings came in Constellation's annual survey on CIOs -- "The Evolving Role of the CIO in an Era of Digital Disruption" -- released this week. "In the shift toward dominating digital disruption, CIOs can only move as fast as their organization’s DNA will allow while driving transformation," wrote Constellation's R "Ray" Wang, founder and principal analyst.

Goodbye CIO? Why the Role May Ultimately Disappear

social business, Goodbye CIO? Why the Role May Ultimately Disappear

Those young ones walking around with their heads buried in their smartphones and tablets? As in everybody in the up-and-coming business generation?

They'll render the chief information officer (CIO) role obsolete, the leader of an enterprise analytics software and solutions company told CMSWire.

"What was a CIO in the past?" asked ClickFox CEO Marco Pacelli. "A creator and an innovator who made information available to the business faster and more accurately. Well, now that is over, and an entire generation of extremely tech smart kids have grown up."

Yes, them. They may not be getting as much fresh air as their preceding business generations, but they are immersed in technology, almost by default.

"They are used to constant change, the next best thing and having all the information they want at their fingertips," Pacelli said. "The CIO is falling behind and can’t keep up with the demand. It will be all about the data."

Should the CIO Report to the CMO?

It was the "wow" moment of the business conference.

Meghan Walsh, senior director of eCommerce Platform System Management for Marriott International, told the Gilbane Conference in Boston in December that the CIO reports to the CMO at her organization.

“Ooh.” “Aah,” came murmurs from the crowd.

Well into 2014 now, the topic of CIO and CMO is still a hot one. Do people believe it's an effective C-Suite strategy? Depends on who you ask and what type of organization it is, information technology and marketing executives told CMSWire.

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