CMO or CIO: The Push for Data Control


Everybody’s talking about Big Data; now there’s Big-Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS); how is that affecting the CMO/CIO relationship?

Anyone who’s ever been involved in marketing knows that campaigns, to be effective, need to be based on insights into customer data (demographics, psychographics, buying behavior, etc.) which itself is based on tests and concepts. As mobile platforms and devices have skyrocketed, data has been coming in at faster speeds and at head-spinning numbers. Building the databases used to be the exclusive responsibility of internal IT. But that can be a costly and time-consuming investment. That’s why the emergence of cloud big data providers has been a boon for CMOs who can get the data…and often the analytics…they need to create concepts and communication strategies, and assess their success.

That’s where Big Data as a Service comes in. A recent article in Forbes,Big-Data-as-a-Service Next Big Thing,” speaks to the growth in this industry, estimating that the global Big Data market will be worth $88 billion, and, within that overall market, BDaaS could have a value of $30 billion, by the year 2021, a short six years away. But just because these services are available, giving marketing more control over the data it needs, don’t think for a minute that IT doesn’t still play an important part in this business equation.

That’s because once concepts and test campaigns are deemed to be successful, they need to move forward for full or partial rollouts. The IT team needs to be involved at this point as they are the group responsible for security. They are the team tasked with fulfilling audit requirements and policy enforcement. And they will be the ones called upon in the event of a breach. An article on, Beware of the BDaaS Double Boomerang deals with this aspect, citing Brian Hopkins, an analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, MA. Hopkins wondered who would be liable if something would go wrong and the service is “owned” by the marketing department. “If there’s a breach,” he said, “who pays the price?”

This illustrates the beg change that has taken place. IT (and by extension, the CIO) is now a stakeholder, while while it’s the CMO who’s driving the initiative. But problems and breaches affect the entire company so, as with everything else in this ever-growing silo-less global business environment, marketing and IT must collaborate, working with each other to arrive at the most effective, efficient, and productive solution for the company, rather than having conflict over ownership.

Mike Rowbotham

About Mike Rowbotham

Mike Rowbotham is Vice President of Strategy & Innovation for AmeriQuest Business Services. He is responsible for establishing the company’s overall strategic direction, which includes identifying inorganic growth opportunities. He also drives organic growth through product innovation and market expansion. Previously, Mike developed leading-edge network and infrastructure systems of AmeriQuest and its subsidiary companies to successfully accommodate AmeriQuest’s high-growth strategy.

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