back to article Has marketing grabbed the IT reins at your company?

IT execs face many threats, but perhaps their biggest nightmare is the prospect of IT strategy being driven by the whims of the marketing department. Yet aligning technology and the...softer business disciplines, could be the key to survival in a world where customers, and suppliers, expect to be hooked into your company as …

  1. Jim 59

    That's so 1997

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    Board-room woes

    I truly hope that the meeting is not in that room with the space invaders wallpaper and that green psychedelic painting.

  3. ProperDave

    Just recently a VP in the business branch of the corporate I work for sacked an IT team that supported a business unit under him in a cost-cutting effort, leaving the technology side of the business absolutely gobsmacked as we hadn't been consulted on the move. We've lost 20 developers and are still expected to support that branch of the business naturally, with staff that haven't any experience in that business unit.

    The world will always need experienced IT Managers though - otherwise who's going to clean the fans after the poop gets flung?

    1. Fatman

      RE: Sacked IT staff

      Just recently a VP in the business branch of the corporate I work for sacked an IT team that supported a business unit under him in a cost-cutting effort, leaving the technology side of the business absolutely gobsmacked as we hadn't been consulted on the move.

      Time for you and the rest of the IT staff to get your resumes in order.

      Let the increased shareholder value buffoons run the IT dept.

  4. Mark 65 Silver badge

    Media schmedia

    I do wish this whole "you need to have a social media presence" bullshit would just up and die already. Sounds like siren calls from a department like HR that just seeks to support its own existence.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Back in 1988 ...

    ... I quit my 9-5 job as an IT boss, because marketing & management effectively stopped me from doing my job. After a year or so of looking for another 9-5, I realized I was making more money as a conslutant, bailing out companies whose management completely cocked up their internal IT infrastructure. In 1992, the company I quit paid me almost 30X what I would have made if they had just allowed me to do my job. I've been doing it ever since. It's quite lucrative. Try it, you might like it.

    Marketing & management have no place making IT decisions, never have, never will.

    Concur on "you need to have a social media presence" being pure marketing bullshit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back in 1988 ...

      30x more?

      Either you were being woefully underpaid whilst working as a permanent employee or you're exaggerating.

      I'll pick the latter and you're starting to believe your own marketing bullsit

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC: (was: Re: Back in 1988 ...)

        "30x more?"

        No. Almost 30x more.

        "Either you were being woefully underpaid whilst working as a permanent employee"

        Duh? Isn't every 9-5 wage-slave underpaid?

        "or you're exaggerating."

        Uh ... no. In 1988 I was making ~US$60K/year. My share of pulling a Fortune 250's IT infrastructure out of the toilet in late 1992 was about 7.2 million.

        You can probably figure out who I am from that. Kindly keep it to yourself. Ta.

  6. Warm Braw Silver badge

    "Business units will go it alone"

    That's pretty much what created the minicomputer boom - central IT departments failing to offer business units the IT support they needed.

    I'm afraid in my former role as a "conslutant" (thanks, "jake", very apposite...) I found that IT managers are overly keen on Business As Usual and marketing are fixated on novelty and fashion. In the absence of a clueful senior management (and that seems to be the default setting for businesses) that actually understands the business as a whole, these turf wars are inevitable and interminable.

  7. Mad Mike

    Management quality

    With the quality, self-obsessed ego and rampant 'the only thing that matter is me' of the average middle to senior management team, the people setting the company agenda are normally the salesmen from suppliers. They offer to fix all the woes (which the managers then buy and blame everyone else when it doesn't) and you often see a lot of the managers end up working for them!! The Bribery Act needs a massive update as buying lots of stuff from a supplier and then going to work for them is just as much bribery (probably) as accepting a steak for lunch etc. which seems to be the focus at the moment. It really amazes me that I'm banned from accepting so much as a free lunch from a supplier, yet the senior management regularly go out and have slap up meals at very expensive restaurants with exactly the same companies.

    Guess only us mere plebs at the bottom are open to bribery....................the managers are far more honest...........yeah right.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funnily enough I sit in a "shadow IT" team which is part of marketing. We run our own data warehouse on behalf of marketing which grew up thanks to IT quoting ridiculous costs and timescales. For example, £200k and 3 months to build some reporting we can build in a few days.

    However, it does cause a lot of problems and since I joined and took over management of the team I've been agitating to get us moved into IT. Unless they can do something about their delivery times/costs though I don't see the business going for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Your cheaper more awesome shadow project is causing lots of problems, you don't want to support it anymore, and now you want IT to pick up the mess you've made. Way to save money there.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. stringyfloppy

    What does "if they have development nous" mean? Maybe a typo?

    Also, what is the Chatham House Rule?

  10. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    It is really very simple. At the base level, the marketing/business/sales/production departments decide what needs to be achieved, and the IT department decides how to implement it. It is just as bad when the IT department starts dictating the functionality of a system as when the marketing department starts dictating the architecture.

    Of course, the accounts department also gets to dictate the budget, which may well lead to discussions about what functionality must be cut to remain within the cost constraints.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All of those are constraints, the hard part is getting all the groups (IT too) locked in a room until a template is struck. A skilled translator helps (nods to The Economist) immensely!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But but but

      They have a new iPhone and they UNDERSTAND technology!

  11. W Donelson

    This has been going on for decades. Nothing new here.

  12. FozzyBear

    Same Situation

    just different buzz word or paradigm being thrown around. Wasn't there a story similar to this only a month ago, or is this a continuation of the same?

  13. Christian Berger

    I haven't seen an IT department...

    ...that wasn't mostly controlled by marketing departments of vendors for decades. I mean the people inside of IT departments often do not know what they are doing, so they rely on marketing material to evaluate different products.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Screwed all around

    As long as management lives and dies by the quarterly report marketing will rule the roost. They honestly believe that they have the next AWESOME idea and if IT would just build the f'ing website then they'd prove that they're the next Zuckerberg. Cell phones were supposed to double revenue. They didn't. Web access was supposed to double revenue. It didn't. Tablets were supposed to double revenue. Revenue fell. Starting a blog was supposed to double revenue. Bullshit. Now it's the next smartphone app that's supposed to double revenue.

    It's gotten to the point now that IT isn't even given the perfunctory, "You're the expert," line anymore ( Now it's, "Well Google does it, why can't you?" Uh.........cuz I don't have Google's money. Somebody already mentioned the shadow tech and how they can bypass IT and make something in no time and with less money. Great. Until that shadow server gets hacked, is used to attack the rest of the network, thousands of customers lose their personal data, and the insurance company refuses to pay because "standard processes" were not followed. And who's going to get bent over it? The IT manager. And when somebody comes and asks you why you put the server in place you'll say, "Because we could do it better than IT. I mean seriously, if their firewalls were better we'd never have gotten hacked to begin with! Just look at what a shit job they do."

    Screw you marketing. If you'd done your job instead of chasing unicorn rainbow farts we'd have enough revenue to actually do some of the cool stuff, but nope, instead I'm going to sit here and babysit your pet project because damn if unicorn rainbow farts don't smell just awesome on the upcoming quarterly report.

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