Being Digital:The CIO / CMO Nexus

Posted By Alex Asianov In Digital Strategy 01/6/2016

You are on your way. Your team cares about the customer journey, your product (or service) and marketing vision are coming into fresh focus, and you are well on your way to Being Digital.

Then, with a gut-wrenching squeal, the wheels grind to a near-halt.

This is often a sign that your product can’t be extended to support the newly designed improvements for the customer journey for any of the following reasons:

1. “I have three ERP instances and the data for different customers is in different places...we can’t possibly use this data as-is and it will take a year to clean up the data and another year to adapt the systems to avoid a re-introduction of conflicting data.”

2. “We need to retire three systems before we can get you a new Digital Asset Management system...we just can’t support another project at the same time.”

3. “We can’t manage all that rapid content development and digital customer service without automated workflow and we don’t have a workflow solution….and it will take us three months to evaluate options and nine months to implement one.”

and so on...

These “traditional IT concerns” should not be swept aside. The laws of physics were not suspended when CMOs were handed Digital tech budgets. This is a time for respect and collaboration.

Your CIO knows the laws of physics and is most interested in rocket design and logistics and costing of maintaining a space program; the CIO is not a mission specialist and does not care where the rocket is aimed. On the other hand, your CMO has a destination in mind (perhaps the CMO wants to fly to the moon and determine if the cheese it’s made of can be sold at profit), but is unqualified to evaluate rocket manufacturers for fit-to-task (even if by some miracle that CMO had previously funded launches that did not end in disaster). Without collaboration, both functions will be funded but neither objective will be achieved. That’s the very definition of high-cost, zero ROI outcomes.

Your CIO or CTO is key here.That individual holds the keys to a highly technical knowledge domain that can make or break your Digital initiative. Don’t let a CMO tell you otherwise. You need the CIO to focus on the company’s customer journey rally point and clear obstacles to that journey which may be resident in legacy back office software and data.

If your CIO and CMO are making a joint roadmap and problem-solving customer journey enhancements’ time-to-market challenges over dinner, you are Being Digital.  If they are not, they need an executive nudge to get on mission...together.

Alex Asianov is the CEO and President of DOOR3. What are your thoughts about " The CIO / CMO Nexus", do you agree with Alex? Let us know.

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