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Eric Lai’s recent post entitled “Your CMO May Be Your New CIO (And What That Means For Enterprise Mobility)” was a great read. During the same week it was published, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Kimberly Stevenson, CIO of Intel, and I was tempted to consider the inverse: Is Your CIO the Next CMO?


One of the first things Stevenson said was that she believes her most important role is to be the voice of the customer. She spoke compellingly of major trends impacting all of us (cloud, consumerization of IT, big data, social computing, the need for / expectation of velocity, user experience). With bold examples and articulate arguments, she explained that “transforming the world” has become the new normal. “Disrupt, or become disrupted” was the choice she offered to the audience. She was a vivid story-teller.

She went on to say that transforming the world is the role, and in fact the mission, of IT professionals. “Organizations expect IT not only to keep pace with these expectations, but to be the enabler.”This all sounds quite “marketing-esque”.

C-suite musical chairs

Technology is a disrupter that is re-shaping virtually every industry.  If Gartner’s prediction is true, and the CMO is poised to spend more on technology than the CIO, perhaps a customer-centric, technology savvy CIO is well positioned to trade places with his or her Marketing counterpart. 

I was not the only one who was impressed with Stevenson’s presentation:

Stevenson, of course, IS a marketer for her company, which is as it should be. In a world where technology-enabled innovation creates competitive advantage, I think a strong CIO / CMO partnership and collaboration is actually the best way to get to the magic.