Krigsman: Is 'marketing' ready for digital transformation?

ATN-300InsightaaS: Regular readers of Across the Net are aware of our respect for Michael Krigsman, well-known IT expert and author of the widely-read Beyond IT Failure blog on ZDNet. Krigsman tends to publish posts based on extensive research, and with a distinct (and informed) point of view. This piece is a good example of his thorough treatment of an issue – in this case, the extent to which marketing controls, might or should control digital transformation within the enterprise. The post is notable for its extensive use of source research (Krigsman cites two papers by Capgemini/MIT Sloan and a third by Accenture), and for how it draws together key lessons from these papers to illuminate key issues in building digital business success. In an industry where much of the attention on CMOs and technology has been centred on their increasing influence over IT budgets, it’s refreshing to see a post that addresses some of the core issues involved with the digital activities (and limitations) of the CMO. And though some of the source research is a little dated, parts of it – including the seven “myths and realities of digital transformation – offer advice that has value to readers in any context.

Digital transformation will be one of the most significant drivers of business change during upcoming years. This profound trend sits at the intersection of business strategy and technology, enabled by cloud, mobile, data, and analytics.

Because business model changes lie at the heart of these transformation efforts, there are implications across the enterprise. Operations, marketing, service, IT, finance, and other departments will play a role as companies seek models that reflect changing realities in their own industries. During a recent conversation with George Westerman, an MIT researcher on digital transformation, he told me that cross-departmental silo busting is a core aspect of digital transformation.

Although I have written extensively about the CIO’s challenge during the transition to a digital world, the CMO also faces significant hurdles.

Role of the CMO. A recent study by Accenture explores the CMO role during this time of digital transition. According to this research, Chief Marketing Officers risk becoming marginalized because their focus looks inward toward marketing rather than more broadly at the larger domain of organizational strategy…

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