Traditionally, marketing and IT departments of an organization aren’t considered allies. While marketers are trained to pursue quick results, implementation of tech solutions is often a slow process. That’s why even when CMOs and CIOs collaborate, they don’t always succeed in forging strong partnerships. However, in the present-day environment of business disruption that brings immense potential to turn new technologies into profit-churning business growth opportunities and where the course of businesses can be altered by big data, AI as well as cyber threats, an unprecedented level of collaboration between heads of these departments is paramount.
A collaborative partnership between CMO and CIO will bolster a successful digital transformation for any industry in today’s digital era.
Delivering the best customer experience is the responsibility of every stakeholder in the organization. And, in today’s digital age both CMOs and CIOs – complement each other to steer the digital transformation and win new customers and this makes alliance not only desirable but imperative.
At ACI Infotech, we understand that digital transformation is no longer a choice. It is an imperative necessity for survival. That’s why we deliver integration of digital technologies – right from data analytics to predictive analytics, mobility to digital marketing, RPA to cybersecurity, cloud and business penetration – to fundamentally change the way organization works to deliver the greatest value to the end consumer. However, digital transformation goes a long way beyond the adoption of the right suite of tech tools. It is equal about bringing a cultural change in the work ethos to be able to continually challenge the status quo. In our experience, the success of digital transformation goes well beyond the popular buzzwords such as ‘fail fast, ‘nimble’ and ‘agile’, and rests on collaborative leadership and a shared culture of change.
One team + common goal = shared success
As the world talks about digital transformations, it is important to realize that roles of marketing and IT in any organization are undergoing a transformation of its own. The common hurdle in bringing about successful digital transformation, therefore, also depends on the will to break away from traditional organizational charts with compartmentalized departments and get over the battles of turf, credit and financial resources. Having undertaken many a successful digital transformation projects for our clients, our takeaway is that companies need to shake up the established order to reap the true benefits of disruptive digital world order.
Here are a few key core principles that need to be instilled for establishing a strong CMO and CIO partnership on which successful digital transformation rests:
Speaking the same language
Marketers and Technology leaders speak a very different language, both the CIO and CMO roles are really emerging – CMOs need to be more tech-focused, CIOs need to be more business-focused, and that’s exactly what’s happening in today’s big data world. Businesses that are more data-driven are 6% percent more profitable and 5% more productive than their competitors.
Customer is king
While this years-old adage seems obvious, it is essential to be truly mindful of it at every step of the way to have the desired impact on the marketplace. Without it, an organization runs the risk of chasing lofty objectives while losing sight of the fundamental goals.
Keep it simple
With endless choices of technologies, applications and vendors to implements these, the risk of getting carried away and overreach in one’s effort to transform digitally is very real. In such an atmosphere, the need to stay focused on simple solutions that yield efficient progress cannot be stressed enough.
Remain realistic in your goals
Perfection is luring albeit not always achievable. There is a lot of ground to cover in any digital transformation process and working with a lofty vision of what your organization may be able to achieve with a perfect transformation design can easily stall immediate results. It is, therefore, important for the workforce, especially key leaders like CMOs and CIOs, to concur with the realistic goals.
Enjoying the taste of shared successes
For digital transformation to be a success, managers at the helm of marketing and IT departments must learn to work hand-in-glove with no room for competition or conflicting interests. This is particularly critical for establishing an order of shared goals that ultimately drive seamless collaboration.
Mastering the art of collaborative leadership
Leadership is a critical area, as it often invokes one-upmanship. It can be addressed by creating an environment that encourages collaborative decision-making, which may require CMOs and CIOs to work collectively on issues and arrive at decisions that resonate with the digital transformation process even if their traditional competencies would place them on opposing sides of an argument.
This is not to say that forging strong CMO & CIO partnerships alone can make the course of digital transformation run smooth. There are bound to be hindrances, hiccups, and blips along the way. However, with strong collaboration between CMOs and CIOs, along with other functional leaders, can make tiding over these roadblocks that much easier.
Technology and Marketers leaders speak very different languages, so there’s a call on both sides to become bilingual and this collaboration will bolster a successful digital transformation to achieve shared business goals.