Only 12 per cent of marketers work closely with the CIO, according toSungard Availability Services research.

  • However, 91% see working with the CIO as essential in  creating a competitive advantage.
  • 85% of marketing leaders admit circumventing IT altogether, sparking fears for a rise in shadow IT.

Research sponsored by Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), a leading provider of information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, has revealed the importance of closer collaboration between senior marketing and IT functions for driving business growth and availability.

Although 98 per cent of the senior decision makers from UK marketing departments questioned agreed that the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is capable of driving business growth and enterprise availability, only 12 per cent  claimed to work closely with the CIO - creating concerns that this disconnect may be limiting business growth. 85 per cent of marketing departments actually admitted to circumventing the IT department all together in order to access the latest technology.

This disconnect is a bridge that must be built quickly, but this may be easier said than done, with only 55 per cent of respondents feeling that their organisation breeds a culture where interdepartmental collaboration is openly encouraged.

Keith Tilley, EVP EMEA & APAC at Sungard Availability Services said: “Following Gartner’s prediction that by 2020 all businesses will be technology businesses, the IT department is increasingly the keystone in driving revenue growth. It’s great to see that the rise of the ‘digital-first’ mindset has been readily accepted by CMOs, with many marketing departments taking a lead in proposing and developing new and exciting IT projects. However, to make the most of this opportunity, it is vital that marketing and IT leaders collaborate rather than work in silos. This desire to innovate represents a valuable opportunity for CIOs – not simply to help their marketing colleagues understand some of the possibilities, and limitations, of technology but also to further increase their own knowledge of the business, its current market and potential revenue streams.

“Fortunately, it looks as though some businesses are already going in the right direction and understand the value. Over half (51 per cent) of marketing departments were keen to start working more closely with the CIO to implement the changes needed to compete in today’s all-time, digitally connected marketplace. And with 91 per cent of marketers seeing a closer relationship as offering a competitive advantage, it could be that the organisation’s chance of success, or failure, rests on fostering a co-operative spirit between the CIO and CMO.” 

For further details on how marketers can collaborate more closely with the CIO, Sungard AS commissioned a report by Professor of Management, Joe Peppard from the European School of Management and Technology entitled ‘Digital Dynamics in the C-Suite’. Three key tips developed by Joe Peppard for closer collaboration with the CIO include:

- Keep abreast of the capabilities of new technologies: harness the CIO’s unique position as a business leader and technologist who can deliver valuable ongoing insights.

- Partner with your CIO to map out the digital transformation agenda. Work together to identify tangible ways to further embed ICT in the business.

- Recognise that while distribution channels and the interface with customers receive most attention from media reports, the greatest bottom line impact may actually come from operational improvements.

To download the report, please visit: