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For IT Decision Makers, Data Security And AI Are Top Priorities

For years companies have been talking the talk about replacing their organizational silos with more cross-functional collaboration. According to new research, it appears some are now walking the walk.

In fact, more than half (53%) of 1,000 U.S. IT decision makers surveyed by Adobe indicated that they collaborate on the technology vision and implementation with other departments within their organizations. (CMO.com is owned by Adobe.) Of the remaining 47%, 27% said the business teams set the technology vision and work with IT to implement it, while 18% said IT makes the technology decisions with business team input. Just 2% said IT sets the technology vision with no input from business teams.

“We’re finding that the relationship between business teams and IT teams varies from company to company and depends very much on an organization’s priorities,” said Ronell Hugh, group manger of product marketing for Adobe Experience Platform at Adobe. “Furthermore, having a clear leader, whether line-of-business or IT, contributes to IT decision makers feeling as if they are in a strong, collaborative relationship with the rest of the business stakeholders.”

The new research also examined IT decision makers’ concerns. Data security was at the top of the list (47%). That was followed by concerns around implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to optimize operations and the customer experience, and driving innovation in terms of the implementation of emerging technology, at 40% each.

As for the various factors that influence IT leaders’ purchasing decisions, 48% said they are on the lookout for tools that enable faster integration, 43% select a vendor based on its ability to be a strategic differentiator, and 41% want technology that is powered by AI.

The research also found IT professionals believe AI will separate the leaders from the laggards in delivering on the customer experience (CX) mandate. Forty-one percent of those surveyed said AI and machine learning will provide the most value in improving CX, followed by the Internet of Things (22%), voice (14%), and immersive technologies including virtual and augmented realities (12%) and chatbot technology (11%).

How are IT teams handling data management? Sixty-three percent said they have been successful in integrating their various data sources, 59% said they have successfully cleaned their data to minimize inaccuracies and 59% said they are using the data effectively to personalize the customer experience.

“It’s very important for IT teams to help their organizations create a single view of the customer,” Hugh told CMO.com. “However, most organizations still face challenges in achieving this.”

Challenges in data management include ensuring data is secure, actionable, and can easily flow through the many systems an organization has in place.

“Surprisingly, having too much data is one of the least-cited challenges; actually using the data effectively is a much more important issue,” Hugh said.

Survey respondents also noted other challenges such as legacy systems that are difficult to integrate with new technology (38%), departmental silos (32%), inadequate resources (30%), and a lack of shared vision (30%) across the company.

Still, IT teams are very optimistic in their organizations’ ability to make a positive customer impact (95%), and 69% said their companies have the right tools and systems in place to effectively use data to create personalized customer experiences.

“The survey’s findings cement the notion that IT decision makers play an important role in customer experience management,” Hugh told CMO.com. “CIOs and their teams are like a guiding light for other functions within the organization, helping to distill what technology is capable of, and enabling teams to uplevel customer experiences, and and thereby build greater loyalty.”

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