Digital technology: The bridge between two worlds
The work of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) are currently quite distinct. However, the two roles are linked by digital technology. The CIO uses it to manage and protect company resources and services whereas the CMO uses such technology as a tool for communication, promotion, and sales. To achieve true business efficiency, both C-level executives must put aside their differences and cooperate so as to best use their shared technology pool. The question is, who will break the ice? According to Larry Weber, CEO of the W2 group (a marketing services company), the position of CMO is gradually rising to the top of the business organization chart, leaving the CIO as the more subordinate position. On the other hand, the CMO must further develop technological expertise in order to achieve their objectives.
CIO-CMO: Less conflicts and more strategy
A separate possibility is that the roles of CIO and CMO will merge into a single position. We can see that this evolution is happening right now. Recently, we talked about the emergence of the Chief Data Officer (CDO), one of the major new roles in today’s industries. But the CDO isn’t the only new C-level executive role to emerge – the growing prominence of the digital CMO and the Chief Marketing Technologist are also examples. In fact, in 2013 29% of IT departments reported having Chief Marketing Technologists in the United States.
This role of CMO came about due to the rising technological needs of marketing departments. Digital technology is everywhere, shaping all areas of business. Increasingly, social media, big data, and analytics (among others) are used by companies to interact with their customers. Digital marketing is no longer optional – a reality to which both the CMO and the CIO must adapt.
In any given modern firm, both the CMO and the CIO must collaborate on strategic use of digital technology in order to serve the company. Both entities must compromise and respect their respective attributes and mission. The CMO must understand that that which could be a marketing asset may also act as an IT threat (e.g., software with security and compliance issues). Similarly, the CIO must recognize that IT policy restrictions may undermine the work of the CMO.
Another big conflict that may arise revolves around the cost of IT: Which department should pay the bill?
IT costs: Who’s paying the bill?
To circumvent conflicts of IT expenditures, marketing departments spend considerable amounts of their own money on IT resources such as Software-as-Service (SaaS). But what about other technology that’s more traditionally governed by the CIO, such as storage and big data analytics? Often, the marketing department will spend on their own solutions that are implemented in isolation from similar (or identical) solutions deployed in other business units. However, even as this solves one problem, it creates another in the form of having to conciliate information on invoices, inventory, and usage.
The simple fact is that marketing budgets are getting bigger because of IT expenses – that’s why a good strategy is needed to balance expenses across departments. Developing a solid approach around big data requires not only a manager’s expertise but also cost-efficient tools. So, how to allocate cost by division?
Collaboration is the key. The CIO and the CMO must work together to attain strategic IT budget management. In doing so, they will be able to deliver innovative solutions.
Cimpl is the solution to the problem of IT bills. Cimpl is simply the best asset and telecom expense management software. Our technology management software tells you how, where, and when your devices are used, and by whom. It’s easy to have a clear picture of all your expenses by using Cimpl’s unique all-in-one dashboard. Cimpl helps connect your information, clarify your data, and control it all easily. No more disputes about the IT budget – CIOs and CMOs can focus on their strategy while Cimpl simply does the rest.
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