June 11, 2012, 1:31 PM — Rogue or shadow IT--when business departments make their own arrangements with external vendors without consulting IT--is the bane of many CIOs. But from a marketing department's perspective, it's easy to understand the appeal.
"As marketers, we're used to asking: How can I get this done fast, and how can I spend less?" says Myra Rothfeld, CMO at Genworth Financial Wealth Management. "If you're working with your own large and complex IT organization, it doesn't feel fast or cheap."
To make matters worse, many technology vendors have discovered the marketing automation market, Rothfeld says. "I think it's particularly easy to do these days because there are so many IT vendors, consultants and specialists who find that market very desirable." In fact, she says, "You have to really decide not to do shadow IT."
It's a decision worth making. "As marketers, our objective is to build better, faster client experiences," Rothfeld says. "I personally have found that the best way to do that is within the structure of the leadership team, and with marketing staff who have a deep understanding of technology."
In the end, resisting the temptation to go rogue should pay off for marketing and the company as a whole. "It's really about competitive advantage," says Glen Hartman, global managing director of digital consulting at Accenture. "Rogue IT systems are usually siloed. Whichever companies can do the hard work of getting the CIO and CMO connected will be able to outpace their competitors."
Read more about it strategy in CIO's IT strategy Drilldown.