We’ve all been there, when someone says “have you talked to IT?” The eyes roll and the sigh and the tense shoulders. As marketers, especially in newspapers and magazines, we like to be agile and nimble and move quickly. Often, IT is seen as a mysterious place where everything is denied or seems to take centuries and they always seem to start every conversation with “did you plug it in first?” It doesn’t have to be that way and there’s some old reasons marketing needs to foster a strong working relationship with the IT folks.
Security & Data Breaches:The IT team likely spends a fair bit of time keeping data thieves, hackers and other nefarious types out of the corporate networks. It’s a thankless and never ending job. Part of this is protecting the data the company has because a breach can damage a brand reputation and cost a company millions in lost revenue, thus adding more to the workload of IT and marketing. When it comes to news media and magazines, the threat is heightened as we’ve increasingly witnessed foreign actors, both state and non-state sponsored, attempt to influence news media.
In democratic nations, the threat to news media and almost any publisher with a strong digital presence, is heightened during election cycles.
Onboarding Will Be Easier: Many a MarTech solution today uses the pitch line “hey, you don’t even need IT.” Which, for some services is true. But it’s good to talk to the IT folks anyway. A good IT department will have an open-door approach and truly want to help you. They can make sure there’s no security breaches and apply some business analyst help or project management resources if you don’t have a PMO unit in your company. If API’s play a role in the app to be integrated with another, it’s likely the IT folks you’ll need at some point.
Risk Mitigation:Aside from data breaches and security and on boarding, an IT team can help assess a software and the vendor with agreement reviews and evaluating the code and validity of the vendor. They can also help with the contract terms and conditions to identify issues, for example, with the SLA (Service Level Agreement.)
We know there are challenges with an IT department, but they can be a great resource. It does mean that they too should also be responsive and open, but that’s another post. Fostering a closer working relationship is key and our next post will offer some tactics that we’ve helped clients successfully deploy.

Giles Crouch is a Chief Information Officer (CIO) and digital anthropologist. He uniquely ties his deep knowledge of technology, marketing, design thinking and digital anthropology and as a polymath he helps clients seeking digital advantage in today’s complex world. Giles' initial years in business were in marketing communications in the technology sector. He also co-founded the Ice Awards for creative in advertising in Atlantic Canada. Giles has been regularly interviewed by international news media on topics such as social media, blockchain, artificial intelligence and their impacts on society. He is a passionate practitioner of design thinking and digital anthropology (netnography). Giles is prolific writer and public speaker, lecturer and keynote. He has also completed over 300 netnographic research projects since 2009. His secondary engagement is as Group Publisher with HUM@NMedia Inc., a Canadian health and wellness focused media company.

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