Did you happen to see the front cover of the April 7th copy of “InformationWeek?” The picture was related to the article “The end run around IT – and how CIO’s can prevent it” by John Soat. Of all the executive level positions to choose from, why was “Marketing” pictured as the player making the sweeping end run in the OPPOSITE direction of the CIO?
Well, marketing automation, marketing optimization, marketing resource management, BI / customer profitability projects, SEM, and social networking initiatives (just to name a few) do provide plenty of technology situations in which it might be tempting to bypass my CIO and ask for forgiveness later. On the other hand, I prefer a play book in which the CMO and CIO are leading the charge together with power sweeps. Let me explain; at USC, opponents are often fed a healthy diet of the Trojans’ famed “student body left” and “student body right” toss sweeps. Hordes of very large sized linemen lead fleet tailbacks left or right with regularity for healthy gains. In a like manner, I’ve found my marketing strategy is more likely to produce healthy gains when I keep my IT organization in tight, leading the charge with me.
With that said, there are times when the executive team needs to call a time-out in order to discuss the next set of plays. For example; Seapine Software recently launched the Seapine Software User Group on both LinkedIn and Facebook. While my CIO was in fundamental agreement, he like many IT executives had more than a few worries about things like security and drags in productivity. However; by the end of our very short time-out we were able to work out a social networking strategy and launch the initiative.
Seapine is an SMB, and I’ll admit that it’s been easier to build a tight relationship with my IT counterpart than it was when I with working for larger enterprises. No matter the size of your organization though, healthy gains are more likely when you are in tight and sweeping together.