Why today’s IT department is tomorrow’s marketing department

IT Department becomes the Marketing Department

What will IT stand for in a few years time? Idea’s Team, Intelligence Team…or maybe marketing will be rebranded and swallow IT completely – ‘markiting’. Ok, this may sound extreme, but much of today’s IT department may well reside in marketing in a few years time. This is and will happen because of two main factors:

1.    Cloud computing
2.    Quantity of data

Many IT departments shiver at the thought of cloud computing, it is often seen as the reason for cuts in IT. Some see it as the outsourcing of the IT department, but this can save for another blog. IT is changing the way businesses operate, some of it in house and much of it through technology, such as cloud computing. Yes, cloud computing does mean companies don’t need people to ‘feed and water’ their servers. And it also means that businesses can deploy more applications and software, quicker and more effectively and in many cases with less expense.

With cloud computing allowing more applications to be run enterprise wide, there is more need for software and applications to ‘talk’ to one another and share data. What’s more by the very nature of cloud computing it is designed to be accessed from any location where you can get the world wide web. So with more devices creating more data across the enterprise and with more applications sharing information there is now information overload. And in this mountain of data is real ‘business intelligence’ that can potentially give businesses a real competitive advantage.

So cloud may effect the IT department, but at the same time, it is creating mountains of business intelligence that can businesses should take advantage of. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute states that by being able to analyse huge amounts of data quickly could potentially offer huge benefits to businesses and other organisations. For example they predict that American healthcare could save up to $300 billion a year.

What’s more with the proliferation of social media, especially Twitter, Facebook and FourSquare to name but a few, this allows marketing departments to reach very specific target audiences instantly. On Twitter, last year, the high street fashion retailer, Reiss, was trending and began a mini marketing campaign, due to Catherine Middleton sporting one of their outfits when meeting the visiting Obama’s. This in turn helped double the company’s profits. Now imagine marketing departments being able to react instantly region by region, or store by store to a rich seam of local trends that is mined by marketing analysts to optimise sales in each store. What’s more linking to social media means marketing messages are instant and viral.

So the bulked up IT department might slim down or they might be renamed as marketing analysts, but the cocktail of cloud and data finally kills mass marketing, as businesses will really be able to offer one-to-one marketing messages with greater visibility of return on investment.

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