“Dear CIO: In 5 Years…the tech budget is mostly the CMO's responsibility."

So claims Vala Afshar, CMO and chief customer officer of Enterasys. His assertion is backed by a report from IT consultancy Gartner, which declares, “By 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.”

The upshot: “While IT budgets are decreasing as a percentage of overall company revenue, CMO budgets are increasing,” says Francine Hardaway in Fast Company. CMOs “can become the leader of a cross-functional team that determines IT buying, rather than just be forced to use what IT has bought.”

Not everyone’s buying Gartner’s prediction. Michael Friedenberg, CEO of IDG Enterprise, calls the forecast “ridiculous” on CIO.com. But he agrees with Hardaway on one thing: The future will see more cross-pollination in the CIO-CMO relationship, to the benefit of both.

“Since most people in marketing lack technical backgrounds, it should be clear that their increased collaboration with CIOs is a personal gain, not a professional threat,” he writes. “Meanwhile, on the CIO side of the world….Partnering with CMOs helps IT leaders expand their communication skills and connect directly with the business.”

This article originally appeared on The Build Network.

Published on: Mar 31, 2014