I know it's Friday and I hate to be gloomy just before the weekend but I could not let this wait. Last year, we (George Colony actually) released a report in which we highlighted that 32% of respondents to our Forrsights Business Decision-Makers Survey in 2012 stated that they believe their IT department hinders business success. Unfortunately in 2014, this figure has jumped to 43%!

This is really worrying for me and should be for you also because technology, and specifically digital technologies, are catalysts for commercial success in all industries. This means that I&O should really be a key partner helping drive strategies here but this rising dissatisfaction also highlights a trust issue – and without trust from our business co-workers we have no chance of changing the direction of this stat. This prompted myself and my co-worker Anthony Mullen in the Marketing Leadership role to research and write the report – “Five Ways To Impress Marketing And Support Digital Business Transformation” which has just been released.

We wanted to understand whether everything was rosy in regards to the rest of the business and digital business strategy. What we found was that Marketing leads a number of these efforts and digital teams are being formed but they are struggling to execute. One challenge is that they are struggling with “IT/development/infrastructure” skills and are actually solving this problem by outsourcing! This seems crazy, right!? Well, through interviews it was highlighted time and time again that Marketing and I&O just don’t get each other, our language is different and our priorities are just not in sync. 

The reality is that to solve these problems a shift is required in both I&O’s and Marketing’s attitude, behavior and culture with each other and this shift is not going to happen overnight. But make no mistake it does need to happen or you will be left behind by your business co-workers. So in this report we put together a quick self-assessment so that you can understand what your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to partnering with marketing plus what to do about it. We ask questions such as:

  • Whether you and your team are aware of the company’s digital strategy?
  • Whether you understand what it means to your role and responsibilities?
  • Whether you can easily articulate your work and activity to Marketing?

We then go on to provide five quick ways in which you can begin to build your relationship, and most importantly, trust with Marketing. We also make the call that we have to start to build our knowledge of digital management solutions such as artificial intelligence advertising software. I know we may never use these solutions within I&O but we need to understand why, when, and how they are used to optimize the customer lifecycle because ultimately our success and the success of the business is all about satisfying customer needs.

I would love to hear your comments about this and if you are a Forrester client to get your feedback to this very different I&O report. But for now I am going to go and enjoy the weekend!