Technology-business handshake.jpg

One of my favorite and most respected members of the punditocracy is Michael Krigsman. If you aren't following him and his musings, you should be. Here's my take on a recent example of why.


In an insightful recent thought piece, Michael asks "Is 'marketing' ready for digital transformation?" Citing research from Accenture, Capgemini and MIT, Michael argues that chief marketing officers (CMOs) and their teams have important roles to play in the transformation of enterprise digital transformation. However, Michael also argues that based on current evidence, those roles are so fare being severely underplayed. Here's a bit of what he says, with italics added by me for emphasis.


" Popular opinion seems to equate digital transformation with marketing, which is incorrect even if understandable. Because the marketing department controls websites, social media, and other customer-facing aspects of digital interaction, it is tempting to equate these elements with the much broader concept of digital transformation. True digital transformation is not just a website or attractive new channel for sales or customer service. Instead, transformation involves redesigning processes, strategies, business models, and even culture to take full advantage of new capabilities offered by digital mediums and technologies."


Now, if you've paid attention to anything I've posted on the ServiceNow Community site, or anything anyone from ServiceNow has said publicly of late, you already know why I've emphasized those particular 22 words. For everyone else, I will shamelessly quote from one of my own previous posts, again with italics added for emphasis.


" Success with enterprise service management requires effective deployment of processes and technologies proven effective and optimized for this essential task.


"In many if not most enterprises, such proven processes and technologies likely already exist within the departments most experienced at successful delivery of enterprise services.


"In many enterprises, the department with the most experience in successful delivery of enterprise services is IT, but HR, facilities management and others can also be strong candidates."


Marketing must lead the elements of enterprise transformation that connect the enterprise's faces to the world, internally and externally. But given that those faces and the services that enable them are increasingly digital, marketing needs help and support from IT.


IT must lead the elements of enterprise transformation that empower the services and interfaces by which that transformation is enabled and delivered. But given that marketing teams oversee many of those interfaces and services, IT needs help and support from marketing.


Two of my favorite books share a fascinating characteristic. The core message of each is "buried in plain sight" within the larger work. In Strunk and White's essential "The Elements of Style," it's four words that end a single sentence: "…make every word tell." In Keith Ferrazzi's seminal, inspirational treatise on the value of relationships, it's the first three words of the work's title: "Never Eat Alone."


  IT and marketing leaders and team members interested in fomenting meaningful transformation at their enterprises should dine and/or drink with their marketing and IT counterparts regularly and frequently. Once a week would be great, but even once a month is good. Each team is powerful on its own. Joined together by shared goals, efforts and processes, they just might be unstoppable agents of transformation.