Cloud-Based Marketing & Collaborative IT Partnerships
Today, many savvy digital marketers tap cloud-based offerings to help them achieve their web experience goals. These offerings can help recognize program value faster by bypassing dependency on internal or outsourced technology expertise. Cloud-based solutions empower marketers to be nimble and react more quickly to the demands of their audiences. But should they completely eliminate IT?
For many organizations, this cloud computing trend has contributed to a void between marketing and IT departments. Marketing teams are moving away from their dependence on technical support. IT teams are deprioritizing the needs of the marketing department altogether. As they focus on supporting other groups within the enterprise, IT teams can lose an understanding of what their marketing colleagues need—especially as it relates to digital marketing.
For both sides in this digital divide, this approach is short sighted. The shift to cloud-based solutions merely shifts where IT directs its focus. Sorry marketers, it doesn’t and shouldn’t completely eliminate the need for seasoned enterprise technology expertise.
Collaborative partnership between marketing and IT is still the best path to achieving your marketing goals.
The evolving digital marketing landscape
Savvy digital marketers may know the best-of-breed providers in a particular category such as web content management. However most are lost in the ever-surging sea of vendor service providers. Organizations need IT partners that can provide clear guidance on the entire digital marketing ecosystem.
A good IT partner, whether internal or external, understands how the infrastructure pieces fit together. They understand how new cloud services can exchange data seamlessly with established solutions within the enterprise. They know which legacy providers have changed their offering to catch up in the cloud, and which have not.
Further, a cloud-based service doesn’t eliminate security and compliance concerns or the need for solid implementation strategies. Good IT partners strategically consider business needs, resource requirements and infrastructure planning across the enterprise. Without this keen perspective, marketing projects that dare to “go it alone” are as doomed to failure today as they were before the Cloud Revolution.
Like the Web and its iterative evolution over the last two decades, marketing and IT relationships will continue to change with the further advancement of cloud-based marketing solutions.
Regardless of approach, successful marketers will recognize that their ultimate success is not about eliminating IT relationships, but about embracing them.
Optimistic marketers welcome this healthy tension and find the right opportunities to work with their corporate or divisional IT resources. Reluctant marketers may continue hire external partners (like a good digital agency!) to help them navigate their IT challenges.
Considering a cloud CMS
When it comes to selecting the right web content management system for your enterprise, there are many vendor solutions that promote themselves as “cloud.” Be skeptical. There are significant differences between platforms that simply host your CMS instance in the cloud, versus a truly scalable “native” cloud solution like Crownpeak, that scales to support thousands of websites and simultaneous users on a single platform.
Cloud solutions still need to be compatible with the enterprise, and assurances made to the IT powers that be around performance, stability, information security, user privacy, governance and compliance. Only once these criteria are met can digital marketers dare to be as self-reliant and independent of IT as possible.
Jonathan Padilla is Sr. Director, Technology & Alliances at Rauxa, an independent full-service marketing agency that uses marketing and technology to drive results for brands including Verizon, Chase and Mattel.