During the late '80s and early '90s, many companies, in an effort to facilitate the creation of their Internet presence, shifted control of their Web sites and Internet technologies from their IT departments to their marketing or e-commerce departments.
“They wanted us to be fast, nimble and completely unencumbered by the bureaucratic processes that existed in the IT department,” said one e-commerce director.
Many executives were sold on the idea that current IT department procedures simply wouldn't fly in the Internet space—we needed to be much, much faster.
For many companies, this proved to be a great strategy. Nimble e-commerce groups created Web sites and strategies quickly and started producing almost immediate results.
However, this approach has lost its luster over the past few years as IT departments have been finding their budgets shrinking and staff stagnating. In some companies where the IT department has not had a significant hand in Internet strategy and Web site development, a great deal of animosity has grown on the part of IT managers toward anything “Internet,” including Internet marketing.
Migrating from an exclusionary mindset to a collaborative mindset is not something that comes easily to some companies. Egos, politics, logistics and relationships are usually altered in the process.
Countless companies are still hobbled by the lack of communication between IT and marketing, inefficient vendor relationships and archaic processes—all of which compromise customer service.
Sure, there are positives to the aforementioned separatist strategy, but there are countless negatives, as many companies have recently discovered. The tide is slowly turning toward cooperation as marketers realize that they cannot go it alone anymore in the Internet space—the customers and the technology simply move too fast.