MWC 2012: Does marketing have more power than the CIO?

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The chief information officer (CIO) may think he or she has control of the IT department, but they are now having to adhere to the tech requests of marketeers, rather than dictating what can be done.

So claims Fernando Alvarez, vice president of mobility solutions at Capgemini. During his keynote presentation at this year's Mobile World Congress, he claimed the likes of the chief marketing officer (CMO) had more power over new IT deployments than the person running the department.

For many years the CIO was driving. Now the consumer is driving and the CIO either has to play or is out.

"It is funny that we are meant to be in a fully connected world and we are still dealing with some offline issues," he said.

"But, CMOs and chief innovation officers are having more of a say than CIOs today. The CMO doesn't care about the process, they just want to get the new app out there to show their new service."

"The CMO is saying that I need to run and the CIO is saying they need to validate," he added. "The race is on."

Alvarez claimed that rather than letting one or the other have full control, there needed to be a new, more collaborative.

"One of the biggest tasks we have is how to balance that going forward... The traditional way of doing business is moving to more openess," added Alvarez.

"How many of you have walked into board room and seen CEO with iPad or PlayBook? For many years the CIO was driving. Now the consumer is driving and the CIO either has to play or is out."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.