More IT spending is going around rather than through IT departments — mostly because it is now so easy to buy and use SaaS applications. The thinking is that, if you don’t need to buy and provision servers and applications, who needs IT? And that’s led to calls for CIOs to make nice with CMOs and other line-of-business execs.
The numbers vary about how big that spending shift is, but it’s a real trend. [company]Gartner[/company], for example, said that 38 percent of global IT spending originates outside IT but that number will rise to 50 percent by 2017. (Remind me to go back and check that in a few years.)
Why can’t we all just get along?
It behooves IT managers, including the CIO, to work with CMOs, human resources execs, etc., and it’s also a good idea for those less tech-savvy execs to make use of the CIO’s expertise in buying decisions. But that isn’t happening much, according to results from a recent Forrester Research survey of 308 marketing and tech managers.
Most of the surveyed managers said the right things. Both groups seem to “get” that they need to work together. More than half of each group (marketing and IT) said it is confident in the other camp’s ability to assess priorities (56 percent of marketing people and 63 percent of tech people said this). And each group’s level of trust in the other group is up compared to last year.
Now, here comes the “but.” From Forrester:
[blockquote person=”” attribution=””]
While it’s a growing priority for CMOs to work with their CIO counterparts when choosing and implementing marketing technologies, only slightly more than half of surveyed execs say that both sides of the house select and deploy technologies jointly. And perhaps worse, just 54% believe the leadership is in place to support marketing technology strategies.[/blockquote]
Cede budget? “Over my dead body.”
This reinforces what I’ve seen and heard anecdotally. (One CIO memorably told an audience at MIT last year that the CMO would gain control of more IT spending “over my dead body.”)
It’s easy to sing kumbaya; it’s far harder to change actual behaviors that have been in place for years. CIOS have traditionally disdained marketing people as tech newbies and CMOs often see IT staff as intransigent and way too slow to respond to new business requirements. The more things change…