We have over the last few months followed a trend of how the CMO will replace the CIO. First of all these are 2 distinct positions with different stakeholders, the 2 services are support functions where Marketing is an internal customer to IT. In “The CMO-CIO Disconnect: Bridging the Gap to Seize the Digital Opportunity” http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-cmo-cio-bridging-gap-seize-digital-opportunity.aspx we learn that “To overcome this gap and infuse a digital focus in all business processes and functions, there is no more important a function for marketing to align with than information technology. On the surface, CMOs and CIOs seem to agree. Dig deeper, though, and CIOs feel a greater need for alignment. Nearly eight out of 10 agree that alignment is needed, compared to just over half of CMOs.”
“Split from the start The beliefs of CMOs and CIOs often diverge radically. A large majority of CIOs (61%) feels their companies are prepared for the digital future. CMOs are more hesitant, with just under a majority (49%) feeling their companies are prepared to leverage digital channels.
Even in their concerns for the future, however, they don’t share the same reasons for feeling unprepared. The top concern of CMOs (43%) is insufficient funding for digital marketing channels. When digital platforms are funded and built, organizations also must fund the right mix of skills and resources to leverage platforms successfully. Platform development does not always equate to full use when capabilities are inadequately funded.
The chief concerns of CIOs (50%) are solution complexity and integration difficulties. In a fragmented cloud services world, CIOs are challenged by what it means to have infrastructure.In another example, both functions agree on the need for greater collaboration, but further digging reveals a much different picture. Globally, 77% of CIOs agree they need to be aligned with CMOs, whereas only 56% of CMOs feel this way about CIOs (Figure 1).
CMOs are beginning to see alternative ways to buy technology capabilities wrapped by services, such as partnering with outside vendors rather than with the CIO. Marketers want more freedom from IT, and IT wants more planning and compliance with standards (Figure 2). Some 45% of CMOs say they want to enable their employees to access and use data and content without IT intervention. Some 49% of CIOs counter that marketing pulls in technologies without consideration for IT standards.”
In short this means for the IT department to understand the needs of the business and the marketing department. This would include social media, process industrialization, CRM, BI, “Big Data” and how to pull and package the relevant information.
After the “how do we align business needs to how IT works” (that is Business IT Alignment) clearly seen in SAP implementations the focus of the CIO need to be on how do we support / “leverage the execution of the business strategy with IT” where the IT Department supports new emerging business initiatives that will eventually form the business strategy as they succeed of fail. That said the IT department has not only the responsibility but should be held accountable for how well they help the business side understand how to leverage existing technology solutions (buy / make) effectively hence the notion of service delivery defined not as basic help desk but as a full fledged business partner and this would include IT Financial Management.
The IT Department need to move from a mere third party provider of Information Technology to a position of a full fledged business partner with a comprehension of business needs, stakeholder expectations and strategy execution and how to support the latter.
That implies to evolve from a position of “there are business needs and stakeholder expectations” (see COBIT 5 that is today one of the few IT frameworks that has included the notion “the needs of the business” and stakeholder expectations) to a potential position of a a full fledged business partner with a comprehension of business needs, stakeholder expectations and strategy execution and how to support the latter. For COBIT 5 practintioners the perspective presented in ”Deliver Business Value with IT” pulls the logics presented in COBIT 5 together that you can effectively leverage with the IT Scorecard.
Understand “How to ask the right questions to support the needs of the business” (and not sit around to wait for the business strategy to be formalised as this might never happen). Focus on ROI and hands on metrics oriented results that supports business objectives. How to re invent the IT Business Model (that is how do we deliver IT services effectively) and the Business (IT) IT Model / Partership that is how do we support the needs of the business effectively.
I believe that the CIO needs to become a “gate keeper of technology to deliver to the needs of the business”. SAAB Defence brought in a (line) business executive to do so, but on full time. The key here was to bring someone in from operations with a focus on client needs and profitability, not another support function.
To merge the 2 functions would only diminish the organisation.
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