CIO-CMO collaboration critical for effective digital transformation

CIO-CMO collaboration critical for effective digital transformation

Work culture differences need to be bridged

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The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that organisations need to unite their IT and Marketing departments to jointly spearhead the digital transformation that is fundamental to their survival, and to succeed in this new normal.  

According to Sumit Virmani, CMO at Infosys, “Now is the time, more than ever, for CMOs and CIOs to collaborate to deliver tangible business outcomes. When the dust settles, companies that will emerge stronger will be the ones where the marketing and technology functions took joint ownership to drive digital transformation and engage customers in a meaningful way.”  

Based on a recent study by Infosys that surveyed 970 business leaders, and interviewed CIOs and CMOs to gain their input — it was observed that Marketing and IT operated in silos prior to the pandemic with their goal alignment ratings across initiatives ranging between 23% and 32%.  

“The work styles tend to be very different between a technical person and a marketing person, which leads to work culture differences. Traditionally, this cultural difference has hindered collaboration.” said Carol Kruse, Former CMO of ESPN and Cambia Health and former Head of Global Digital for The Coca-Cola Company. 

This collaboration between the CMO and CIO would make for an optimal pairing— with the CMO’s people-centered skill set to ensure the delivery of the organisation’s ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) goals, and the CIO’s insights into enterprise IT systems.  

Furthermore, with the drive to include stakeholder capitalism, the CMO-CIO collaboration would play a crucial role in mapping and aligning business needs with their stakeholder demands.  

Almost half, or 44% of top-tier companies foresee a boost in profitability by 5% or more with the collaborative CMO-CIO relationship as the CIO helps drive business resilience during this trying period, and the CMOs complement this by upholding the brand resilience to cater to their necessary stakeholders.  

IT had shown a higher rating in understanding the necessity of this collaboration to drive digital transformation, working together to plan and model the future with Marketing. The study found that cementing this working relationship would also help set a precedence for a culture that would run in any situation, having been cultivated by collaboration, be it remotely or in-person. 

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