In the Journey to Being a Digital Master, Befriend the CMO

June 6, 2014 - 2 minutes read

As companies continue shifting into the digital age, CIOs are finding that one of their most valuable resources comes not from a technology vendor, but from their Chief Marketing Officer. This is especially true for companies that want to be known as digital masters. Susan Nunziata discussed a panel session hosted at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium by George Westerman, a researcher at the MIT Center for Digital Excellence, on Information Week.

At the panel, Westerman outlined the requirements for a company to be considered a digital master and the implications for the CIO, namely, convincing your organization that digital-first must become your true priority. What better way to do that than by teaming up with the CMO?

Advising CIOs to befriend the CMO isn’t a new concept, but it’s easier said than done. Plenty of cultural barriers remain. The two organizations are still jostling for technology budgets.

Arroyo takes a different approach to the budget conundrum. “I like to look at every budget as a digital budget,” he said. “As you’re using digital technologies to enhance the top line, you can afford to drive incremental investment. As you make those cases, and you’re facing disruption in your industry, many of your technology budgets will continue to grow as long as you can prove business value.”

Added Westerman: “The great CIOs are not only about spending IT money well. They’re good at helping the business spend money well. The better you get at managing technology, the more appetite the organization has for spending on technology, because they see the results.”

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