IT…Marketing’s Friend, or Foe?

Modern Marketing


So is the IT department a friend of the marketer, or not?

It is frankly surprising that I have been working in technology for more than two decades, and as I travel around and meet with customers – big and small – I hear nearly every CMO or head of marketing say nearly the same thing: “Our IT department only gets in the way.”

At some point – this has to change.

On Friday I joined with the CEOs of Box, GoodData, Jive, Okta, Skyhigh Networks, and Zendesk with a suggestion for a better approach. Dubbed User-Centric IT, the basic idea is to create a new IT framework that puts the user front and center, and takes into account how people actually use technology to do their jobs. To succeed today, IT needs to acknowledge the necessity of accomplishing five basic goals:

  • Serve the business by empowering people;
  • Adapt to the way people work, not the other way around;
  • Enable people, information, and knowledge to connect in real time;
  • View mobility as a work-style preference, not a device; and
  • Make security inherent and transparent to the user experience

The reality is this: IT and business unit heads need to find a way to work together. IT needs to be nimble. IT departments need to take into account the needs of the business. They need to evolve. At the same time, marketers need to realize that IT can be a huge help with insights, advice, and expertise about the interworkings of technology and how it can be leveraged to help marketing achieve their goals.

After all of this back and forth – I think it is time that everybody just gets along…