A Ranger4 Thought Paper: DevOps for CMOs


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This Ranger4 ThoughtPaper looks at DevOps from the perspective of a Chief Marketing Officer - what do they need to know, what should they avoid doing, how can they ensure the success of a DevOps project in their business.

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A Ranger4 Thought Paper: DevOps for CMOs

  1. 1.     DevOps for CMOs A Ranger4 ThoughtPaper www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 1
  2. 2.     Contents 1.0 What’s DevOps Got to Do with Marketing? 1.1 Benefits of DevOps 2.0 The Ever-Increasing Importance of Data 2.1 Relevancy 2.2 Social and Mobile 2.3 DevOps Readiness 3.0 DevOps in the Enterprise: The Three H’s 3.1 History 3.2 Habits 3.3 Heroics 4.0 Delighting your Customers 4.1 Shift Left 4.2 Cross-skilling 5.0 Summary Recommendations for CMOs 6.0 Additional Resources and Reading www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 2
  3. 3.     1.0 What’s DevOps Got to Do with Marketing? The internet has moved us all online so as a marketer we’re sure you’re working on your digital channels, have strategies for social and mobile and are increasingly focussed on your inbound activities. That’s a lot of technology right there: your core, increasingly critical eCommerce platform and other web applications, your inbound marketing tools and their integration with your CRM. You’ve possibly got call centre applications and complex integrations into third parties in your ecosystem too. And this is all your fault. All this conflict between IT development and operations is caused by you and your incessant demands to innovate. You keep putting pressure on development to deliver shiny new exciting fandangles to your target markets and customers and they then put pressure on operations to make change to their fragile, complex systems and what do you get? Conflict and pain. So why should you care? Because ultimately, this is about you, the CMO, achieving your targets - increasing your market share, boosting your brand ratings - you and your CIO are stuck in symbiosis, whether you like it or not. It turns out you CMO’s don’t like it. Well, lots of you. The need to get closer to your technologists that is. In August 2013 Accenture published a study that said only 57% of CMOs are interested in working with CIOs and while eight out of ten CIOs were interested in aligning efforts with marketing, only 45% of CIOs said that supporting CMOs was one of their top priorities. The disconnect is most notable in organizations where IT is not considered strategic but a cost that needs to be controlled. But Accenture say this is putting businesses’ future at high risk and the connection between technology and marketing is irrefutable. So how does DevOps help you get closer to your CIO? And your CIO closer to you? It seems you may have some issues working together on your projects - around 36% of CMOs say that IT deliverables fall short of the desired outcome and nearly 46% of CIOs say they need more details from marketing folks to meet business requirements. Is this about communication? Collaboration? DevOps is about breaking down the barriers between IT Development and Operations and helping them work together better to get code released faster and more frequently. DevOps can also be about breaking down the barriers between CMO’s and CIO’s - helping you all work better together to get your innovation to your customer faster and win that market share. www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 3
  4. 4.     1.1 Benefits of DevOps - Accelerated innovation to market - Faster turnarounds - Higher quality user experience - Delighted customers - Improved competitiveness - Reduced risk - Increased flexibility www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 4
  5. 5.     2.0 The Ever-Increasing Importance of Data The Accenture report also references Gartner’s analyst Laura McLellan’s 2012 prediction that by 2017 CMOs will spend more on IT that CIOs - you may or may not believe that will turn out to be true, but what it does show is the absolute importance between technology and marketing today and the trend for increasing criticality in the future - technology underpins and shapes the entire customer experience. You are in charge of your customers’ experience, but you must work effectively with those who operate the technology that drives the outcomes and the systems that hold the data - the data that you most likely believe offers competitive advantage when you can access and use it the way you want to. 2.1 Relevancy   Customer experience is key, but how do you make sure that the content and offers you are presenting are relevant? By gathering as much data as you possibly can about your customers and targets, analysing it and using it to tailor and customise experience until it’s as perfectly tuned for the user as it can possibly be.   Managing Big Data and providing the type of analytics you need to be able to do your job and assure scale demands sophisticated technology and experts to build and run it. And these experts will have other concerns too around security and compliance. 2.2 Social and Mobile These are likely to be top of your agenda and you probably have all sorts of creative ideas about how to attract more customers to you through your social channels and lots of ways you want to interact with your customers through their mobile devices. And again, you’re going to need support from your technical experts to make it happen. And your technical experts need to be working together effectively to be able to take your innovative ideas to market. This is DevOps. 2.3 DevOps Readiness The Accenture survey also found that 61% of CIOs feel their companies are prepared for the digital future compared to just 49% of CMOs. Do the CIOs know something the CMOs don’t? Or is it optimism over their area of their reign? That number (61%) still feels a bit low though, doesn’t it? What if you are one of the 39% who aren’t ready? What can you do to help your CIO get ready?  www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 5
  6. 6.     3.0 DevOps in the Enterprise: The Three H’s   Sure, there are examples of killer companies that are already DevOps Happy - but most of them were born that way. The Googles, Amazons, Facebooks, eBays and Etsys of the world were lucky to start their businesses at a time when they could build the technology in from day one. Other enterprises though have business models that didn’t start out being internet companies, even though they may be increasingly evolving that way. We’ve identified three areas older enterprises need to consider when they’re thinking about the cultural changes they need to make to embrace DevOps philosophies. We call them the three H’s. They are: History, Habits and Heroics. 3.1 History   You’ve got history. And, quite rightly, you’re probably proud of it. Your company may be decades old, an oak tree grown from an acorn, that’s evolved, diversified and grown and grown. More people, more stores or factories, outlets or branches, networks or routes. More revenue, profits rising and falling, MBOs, IPOs, mergers, acquisitions - ground-breaking times when you’ve streaked past the competition, eras of hardship where operations have been scaled back - but your company has a story. History’s important, we learn from it, it can give us a sense of place. Sometimes though, history can be an enemy of change. Legacy systems and processes can make it hard to effect change - it’s tough to make a juggernaut move direction fast. You’ve got to have a lot of power. 3.2 Habits   Humans have habits and old habits die hard. Change is difficult and DevOps demands change. It demands that you embrace new ways of working, revisit your culture and look at how you deal with blame, failure, how you organise teams and that you become obsessed with metrics. Measuring everything you do is a central DevOps tenet and one that you should like in marketing too. You’ll be able to report to the CEO exactly how far that new feature on your mobile app reached, or what your Facebook campaign did, and how it converted into hard dollar sales for your company. But DevOps demands that everyone change, and that includes you. For DevOps to work, you need to collaborate with your CIO, to invite them early into your campaign planning process so that they know what’s coming downstream, so they can line up their resources to work on your new capabilities - and DevOps means that they’ll be collaborating closely throughout www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 6
  7. 7.     their development and release cycle to ensure your ideas get to market at the highest velocity. 3.3 Heroics We all love a hero - but sometimes heroes, in fact, are bottlenecks. Perhaps there’s a system, in a critical part of a process, built by just one person. When the system works it takes away an onerous job for someone, but when it breaks, there’s only one person who can fix it. They are the hero. Staying late, coming in over the weekend to fix the problem, get the application running. Bottlenecks are what DevOps is here to hunt down. Another tenet of DevOps is the Theory of Constraints, introduced by Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his book ‘The Goal’. The theory states that any improvement not made at a constraint is an illusion - you will either rush work towards the bottleneck (enhancing the allure of your hero) or create a vacuum after the bottleneck (and have resources sitting around idling twiddling their thumbs). No more heroes. You’re a team, after all. www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 7
  8. 8.     4.0 Delighting your Customers The best marketers take a customer-centric approach to deliver compelling, personalized and consistent brand experiences. It’s a mammoth job and requires systems to collect all the data and analyse and distribute it. Your CIO’s responsible for all of these systems but it’s your job to make sure they deliver what you need. You’ll be delivering campaigns increasingly focussed on insights into the customer and you’ll need real-time analytics. You’re asking your CIO for a lot and you want it delivered fast and at super-high quality. So work with them and understand how your IT teams fit together, the processes they go through to give your customers the experience they want, to get you the data you need. 4.1 Shift Left In DevOps we talk a lot about ‘shifting-left’ - typically we’re describing a scenario where we pull software testing forward to a much earlier phase in the development cycle which means that we deliver higher quality software at the end. We also use it in cases where customers report defect heavy code and we find the underlying issue is around requirements definition - the defects aren’t bugs but features that were designed and delivered erroneously as a result of poor specification in the first place. When CMOs shift their CIOs left in their process, they’ll find they give IT a chance to plan and deliver accurately - everything gets faster, in the same way that when developers give operations early warning of a release coming down the pipeline, they’re ready to receive it and push it to live at high speed. 4.2 Cross-skilling Sharing skills between teams is another DevOps tenet that can be well-applied to improving relations between the CMO and CIO functions. We recommend working with your CIO to share and exchange resources with the goal of evolving the skill mix to deliver a more tech savvy marketing organization and an IT organization that’s more agile and responsive to market demands. Empower your teams to drive technology decisions and own thought-leadership about digital technology architecture and collaborate with their technology counterparts to serve the demands of the digital age. www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 8
  9. 9.     5.0 Summary Recommendations for CMOs - See IT strategically - Focus on collaboration, trust and transparency with your CIO - Bring your CIO in early - at the campaign planning stage (shift left) - Create shared goals - Reward both your teams on shared success and swap resources between marketing IT and vice versa - Join forces with your CIO to educate the rest of the cSuite on your digital strategy - Understand and empathise with your CIO’s challenges around system standards, stability, security and compliance - Don’t make promises without your CIO’s involvement and agreement www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 9
  10. 10.     6.0 Additional Resources and Reading The CMO-CIO Disconnect - a report from Accenture Interactive Forbes article: Five Years from Now, CMOs Will Spend More on IT Than CIOs Do UX article - It’s Time to Define CXO DevOps.com The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford DevOps Matters on LinkedIn The DevOps Guys blog Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s ‘The Goal’ www.ranger4.com © Ranger4 2014 10