An article in yesterday’s Ad Age led with a fascinating premise — that investments in technology and innovation may provide future breakthrough for Wal-Mart. That’s Wal-Mart. Not Apple, or Google, or Samsung, but Wal-Mart — the world’s biggest retailer.

Forrester has been writing for some time about how technology management must change to deliver business results, a phenomenon we call business technology (BT). The implications for Customer Intelligence professionals are immense. CI teams are often among the more technically oriented of their marketing brethren, and they are steeped in data and analytics, but the best CI pros also act as customer strategists — helping the company to better understand the customer and to put the customer squarely at the core of the business.

To do so requires a lot of BT involvement. For too long, we’ve heard that IT is from Mars, and marketing is from Venus, but to harness the full power of Customer Intelligence, BT and CI must form a deep bond and learn to collaborate. To help CI professionals on this journey, Rob Brosnan will soon publish a report introducing the idea of a Marketing Technology Office.

And to help CI pros, CMOs, and CIOs figure out how to emulsify marketing and technology, Forrester will be hosting its first CIO-CMO Forum next week on 9/22 in Boston. I’ll be co-moderating a session with my colleague Gene Leganza — we hope to see many of you there!