How many times do you hear that IT is slowing down the digital marketing process, focused so much on security that Marketing can’t be responsive to user needs? Or how many times does it seem like Marketing is not giving any thought to serious operational considerations, such as backups and disaster recovery?
From content management systems (CMS) to productivity tools (e.g., Confluence, Jira), it is evident that not much has changed in the Marketing – IT dynamic during the past two decades. Sure, unlike 20 years ago when Marketing had to come to IT for a precursor to one of today’s CRM platforms, Marketing has a slew of software as a service (SaaS) options that seemingly require little to no IT input. But the reality is far more nuanced. Today, more than ever, it takes both sides of the house to create sound digital systems, but even more so, it takes both groups to deliver a great digital user experience that drive the business’ bottom line.
What if I told you there is a way to stop clashes over reliability versus speed, and get rid of wasted hours in meetings reinventing the selection criteria each time a new addition to the digital stack is required? What if the rules of the game, or the technology selection identification and selection policy as I like to call it, were predefined and they allowed you to focus on what really matters? Right! Life would be better. So let’s not waste time and let’s start discuss how to get this done so that you can diffuse tension and start focusing on things that really matter.
As the old saying goes, “When everyone is responsible, no one is responsible.” The purpose of the policy is to define the start-to-finish process for purchasing and/or subscribing to digital technology (e.g., a content management system (CMS), social media listening tools, tools for analytics, database management tools, code repositories, backups and disaster recovery, authentication, etc.). It also identifies the various roles involved in the process.
Often, it’s IT that goes into a corner and decides what the digital technology stack ought to be. After all, “technology” is in your department name. But maybe Marketing took advantage of their own budget and setup a content management shop in the cloud. But when there’s no clear responsibility for providing input and selecting digital technology, then everyone does their own thing. Chaos is the inevitable result.
This policy is intended to bring order to that chaotic environment by clearly stating who gets to identify what digital technology is used, and how the selection process will work. And you can’t get that done without your colleagues in Marketing. So while your first instinct might be to go off and write a policy that tells Marketing what to do, resist the urge, ask your colleague to meet with you and focus on the key points.
The goal of this policy is very straight forward and the beauty is that it can be sponsored by IT or Marketing. If this policy was a box of cookie mix, it would contain fine print that indicated whoever is sponsoring the event must also invite their counterparts to participate in the policy development process. The objectives are simple:
The priority should be to determine which approach—centralized or decentralized purchasing—will best serve the organization’s needs. Considerations include:
In today’s hyper-competitive world the key to increasing any business bottom line is the successful partnering of Marketing and IT. Successful prospect and customer experiences are rooted in the ability for users to seamlessly move across digital channels and interact with your business in ways that makes sense to them. Partner with your Marketing colleagues to define the technology and tool selection policy and prevent future wars.
Photo by Joanna Kosinska
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