At first glance, the roles of CIO and CMO could not be more different. But now more than ever, organizations' chief information officers and chief marketing officers must rely on each other to do their jobs more effectively. Below is Part I, five lessons CIOs can teach CMOs. Read Part II for five more that marketing execs can teach their C-level tech peers.
What CIOs Can Teach CMOs
1. No technology is an island. We're in the age of BYOX -- bring your own devices, bring your own clouds, bring your own WLANs, bring your own apps … you get the idea. While this freedom from the rigors of the IT department often means that technology gets deployed more quickly, what many people outside the IT department forget is that technology is (or should be) an ecosystem. CIOs can teach CMOs to consider how any new piece of technology could hook into, complement, and exchange data with other systems in place in the company.
2. What's measured matters, and what matters is measured.CIOs play a key role in helping CMOs figure out what technology metrics influence business processes, and in teaching CMOs to generate meaningful, actionable reports from the systems they are using.
3. Effective policy is critical. One critical lesson that CIOs can teach CMOs, and the rest of the business, is that development ofeffective acceptable use and security policy is key to the well-being of the company on many levels. For example, it's important to build in guidelines around things like how often passwords are changed because a compromised system can wreak all kinds of havoc. But it's also important to build in guidelines around what should and shouldn't be said on social networks because a company's compromised reputation may be irreparable.
4. Long-term payoff may trump short-term gains. One of the most alluring things about today's cloud- and mobile-based apps is their immediacy. They satisfy our desire for instant gratification, but in some cases, that's all they provide. (Think about all the apps on your phone that seemed really useful when you downloaded them, but serve such a narrow purpose that they're now just taking up space on your home screen.) CIOs can teach CMOs when it makes sense to implement an application or service that may take longer or cost more to deploy but that will pay off bigger over time.
5. Flexibility must be balanced with security. No CIO wants to be seen as the guy or gal tying the business' hands, but at the same time, no one really wants a CIO for whom "anything goes" when it comes to technology. CIOs must convey their willingness to enable strategic new technologies as quickly as possible, but they must articulate the reasons why time to deployment and expansion may at times be tempered by security concerns.