What the Rising Importance of CMOs Mean to CIOs

The expectations from the CIO have changed, given the growing technology spend of CMOs

The role of a CIO has changed and so is the positioning of technology in the wake of the digital transformations drive. In fact, the digital transformation and the rise of data-driven technologies have given rise to a new role altogether --chief digital officer, who is supposed to manage enterprise data emanating from across sources in an organization and extract actionable insights from them. The chief marketing officers are increasingly using technologies to deliver a seamless customer experience across all touch points, the CIOs continue to face challenges to support innovation and manage faster product turnaround time with new tools and architecture. The Gartner’s claim that CMOs will spend more on IT than the CIO only adds to the responsibilities of the CIO of collaborating with the CMOs to navigate the marketing automation. Does this rise of marketing officers augur bad for a CIO or does this warrant a paradigm shift as far as his roles and responsibilities are concerned? Well, in the face of digital explosion, a business needs a tightly knit CIO-CMO bond where the CIO is expected to employ sophisticated analytics while the CMO continues to identify new revenue streams by analyzing customer data using tools. The shift in the expectations from the CIO For establishments that recognize the strategic role of technology in executing projects and achieve its objectives, the role of a CIO becomes more protruding than ever. The role for sure has changed over last few years, however as technology has become more cohesive with the business, CIOs today must symbolise the leadership characteristics and capabilities of the CEO and other c-suite executives. “Beyond the routine accountabilities, CIOs have risen to strategic members of the senior leadership,” says the CTO of Adarsh Credit, Himanshu Shah. They are assuming larger accountability for managing transformation programs including process streamlining, he adds. In fact, in addition to their old-style CIO responsibilities, they are expected to deliver on outsourcing settlements and finding ground-breaking ways for IT to advance the business objectives through technology, Himanshu adds. To drive these initiatives, CIOs not only need to own the required business and technical skills, but also be able to relay these skills to the organization’s culture. The collaboration of the natural partners The marketing officers have added responsibilities too in terms of harnessing the customer data to enhance revenue and this makes today’s marketing intertwined with technology. Hence, CMOs are increasingly realizing that fact IT is no more an enabler for business while CIOs are turning out to be key partners in implementing the marketing strategy. CIO and CMO are the natural partners who should bet on each other’s strengths. “We are at a tipping point now where customers have outpaced companies in their demands for technology advancement. We need to get to a place of clarity for execution—and quickly. Now more than ever, CMOs need to map out every single stage of the customer journey, from consideration to engagement to purchase to advocacy and associate that back to a desired experience,” says Joe Fuster, Senior VP, Oracle CX Cloud, Oracle. Then they must associate it with the underlying technology that can deliver a personalized experience in a seamless manner across channels. The big picture: what the market demands CEOs all over are under enormous pressure from the market and their customers to be digitally pertinent with faster product development turnaround. Given the digital speed market is moving around, businesses are increasingly turning to technology businesses. This is where responsibilities of next generation come in to ensure businesses have the right framework in terms of governance and new business systems to operate and survive in the new environment. This also warrants leveraging new technologies in innovative ways including using sensors for internet of things and other technologies

Leveraging data with analytics tools will continue to define CIO’s new responsibilities in business development. Being able to relevant to customers at all times will require the capability to comprehend unstructured data in real time.

While the CIO will continue to develop new frameworks for analysing data, the CMOs will have to ensure putting customer data in perspective. The future: the core of the change Surviving in the exceedingly aggressive business landscape, large organizations will lookout for CIOs who position IT as a tactical tool. The information officers who not only have the breadth of skills but also the business intelligence, skills to manage change and people and above all the understanding of organization’s strategic business goal.

"The next generation CIOs will them at the core of a change which will require not just exploiting technology but also aligning it to changing needs of the business from a strategic point of view" --CTO of Adarsh Credit.

The CTO of Adarsh Credit believes that the next generation CIOs will them at the core of a change which will require not just exploiting technology but also aligning it to changing needs of the business from a strategic point of view. So, the future is not about whether it’s CIO or the CMO, it will be more about aligning core responsibilities with the business objectives.

NEXT15% CEOs feel their CIOs can Become CDOs: Sriram Krishnan, Exec Partner, Gartner



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