Who decides IT budgets & Outsourcing budgets?

Competition is good. Fierce competition is even better. But when the pie itself dwindles, you are left wondering how to tackle your own hunger, your own growth. That is when you look inwards and improvise. Businesses are doing this from the drawing boards once again when they are seeing plateauing top lines and reclining bottom lines – Thanks to the increasing operational expenses. This effort at the drawing board is reorganizing responsibilities and control within the enterprise.

Marketing decides IT and Application Development Budget
Marketing decides IT and Application Development Budget

As more and more focus goes into sales and marketing, the CMO suddenly has a larger budget to spend. This in turn does change quite a lot of things. First, more and more marketing automation tools spring to action. Suddenly there is a surge in the number of tools and products which lets you market more conveniently and helps you reach out to a greater and much larger customer base easily. Think of tools like MailChimp etc. That is email Automation. Think of PR – there is PRWeb – that is Press Release Automation. Think of Buffer App, that is Social Media Automation.  Think of Web Analytics – There is Woopra. Think of Log file analysis – There is log File Analyzer. Think of Landing pages – There are sites like Wix and Unbounce. Think of content creation – there are numerous tools which create and curate content – Content automation tools. Think of this. Think of that. Everything revolves around automating each area of marketing. Who uses these? Marketers.

The second set of tools and software products which are on the rise are Marketing Analytics tools. Tools which help analyze the heavy volume of data churned out by Social media channels, tools which help to aggregate brand sentiment across target consumer groups and tools which analyze the information and present it in a very lucid manner using attractive dashboards, rich colors and which are easy to use are increasing. Who uses these? Marketers again.

Not just tools, marketers are looking at putting technology at work by creation of social media apps, mobile apps and the like to increase participation by creating something which goes viral. That is a lot of creativity but that also is a lot of software development and a lot of developers pouring their heads together and creating apps, tool, products. Who hires them and who has a control on these set of people? Who decides the IT budgets now – The Chief Marketers in any organisation.  Of the hundreds if not thousands of new communities being created everyday, the ones which are buzzing the most these days are on Marketing. Just another fact which subtly indicates that Marketers are buzzing with action and with control of the budget.

What does it mean for businesses?

With outbound marketing losing focus slowly as push-marketing is termed as too ‘pushy’, marketing functions are abuzz with creating something new which increases the brand positioning, engagement and recall. This is the right time for you to keep aside a fixed portion of your annual IT budget for use by Marketing. As the investment into that is going to help you reach the next set of customers.

What does it mean for IT Companies?

9 out of 10 businesses worldwide, on an average, would be increasing their marketing efforts in this year and would increase their efforts even more in the subsequent years to come. In such a scenario, the marketing spend and the marketing IT spend of businesses will keep on increasing as well. If you are in the business of software development, then it surely would mean a lot if you have expertise and experience in developing marketing apps for increasing reach, ease of use and greater measuring power. After all, it is the CMO which will start to dictate the IT budgets going forward and this change has already begun. And hence you would work more on the skills which are needed in the marketing side of it to be able to a good job for businesses.

What does this mean? What skills are needed? Everything – Web, mobile, databases, client server, plugins, desktop apps, online apps and so on. You have to be an expert in some or all of these areas to be able to meet the

What do you think? Does it make sense to hand over the reigns for deciding the IT budget of your organisation to your CMO? Would you do it???


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