Defining Roles & Responsibilities for a High Functioning Tech Ecosystem

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March 16, 2023

Silos. Almost everyone has them, yet no one wants them. They slow down your work and hinder your departments while you’re trying to get the job done. Plus, they’re likely a giant red flag that your tech ecosystem isn’t integrated as well as it should be. Silos guarantee a lack of efficiency. Let's discuss how to break them down.

In this post, we'll give you approaches to answer the following questions:

  • What is causing the disconnect that is leading to slowdowns and hindered usage?
  • Why isn't your tech stack working the way it should to simplify, automate, or otherwise improve workflow?
  • How can teams leverage tech to better work together in service of integrated campaigns and programs?

We’ll go over how defining roles and responsibilities to determine who is in charge of your tech and who could benefit from having access to it pays off. To help you implement this within your team, we’ll also talk about two types of governing bodies to put into place and what responsibilities they need to take on to avoid silos in the future.

Exploring the Different Dimensions of Technology Ownership

From technology being purchased by one person or team for a particular feature to tech stacks that result from acquisitions or mergers, there are many reasons that your tech gets messy and siloed. Breaking up those silos does take some work, and it starts with defining “ownership” for your tech stack.

It’s normal to find that different teams are responsible for each technology when tech is in a siloed state. For instance, the ABM team may “own” the ABM platform, the web team may “own” the chat solution, etc. This leads to the "hoarding" of technology by a particular team - only they can use the technology that can (and should) be used by the entire organization. 

For each piece of technology you have, you should be able to identify the dimensions of ownership—who is responsible for technical stability, governance, budget, and strategy—and then assess whether the current structure is optimal for the organization and maximizing the potential of your tech stack. Below are some of the different dimensions we see as well as the various teams that typically are responsible for a high-functioning tech stack.

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By separating out the different ownership needs of a technology, it will force various teams to collaborate on the tech, ensuring it has broader accessibility across the organization.

Leveraging Cross-Functional Teams to Manage Your Tech Stack

The dimensions of ownership are good for each technology, but what about for the tech stack as a whole? That’s where councils and committees can help bring it all together. MarTech councils handle much of the work that occurs before new technology is implemented, and your MarTech committee handles the work that occurs after the technology is purchased.

Both will ultimately play a vital role in eliminating silos and evaluating and using tech to its full potential across your organization.

Cross-Functional Tech Council

Ready to buy new tech and implement it for your organization? Not so fast. You need to have your cross-functional council (your martech council) get involved in the process.

Cross-functional councils include your marketing, your business champion, as well as IT, legal, and procurement departments. The purpose of the council is to evaluate technology and handle the purchase process for that tech. It focuses on assessing requests, assembling and evaluating vendor options, security compliance, contract review and negotiation, and other tasks as needed.

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Some of the basic responsibilities of a martech council include:

  • Improving visibility and transparency of your current tech stack. Maintaining a current inventory of what is currently in the stack, how it’s utilized, and where it might be underutilized will help the council evaluate new requests, how they fit into the broader stack, and if the request may result in redundancies that require attention.
  • Helping develop a martech strategy that maps to the broader GTM strategy, getting buy-in from departments and personnel across the organization, prioritizing tech that has cross-functional uses, and limiting siloed purchases for narrow use cases.
  • Guiding the vendor acquisition process for new technology - including establishing a thorough evaluation process that looks at the cross-functional needs of the organization as well as support for contract review and negotiation to get the most favorable terms for your organization. 

The martech council needs to work together with the martech committee. Some of the responsibilities could overlap or require a hand-off to the committee from the council.

What Is the Role of a Martech Committee?

Martech committees take over once technology is purchased and ready to be implemented. At the core, their responsibility is to break down your silos and help with tech stack governance and activation.

This is how they do it.

You’ve probably heard of the change management concept of forming, storming, norming, and performing, typically referenced during company or department re-orgs. Well, think of adding new tech to your stack as a bit of a tech re-org - you purchase the new tech (forming), figure out where it fits into the broader stack and any redundancies it creates or process changes it will require (storming), establish the new process and train all the stakeholders accordingly (norming), then get to a state where the new tech is part of the way the marketing team operates (performing). Guess what? Your martech committee is responsible for navigating these stages and bringing along all the required stakeholders.

Your martech committee has its work cut out for it. Here’s a breakdown of what your committee has to handle:

  1. Develop use cases with the team that will leverage the tech stack’s full capabilities in a way that helps your organization meet its goals. This will also assist with training and enablement.
  2. Track the flow of data between systems. This includes making sure that integrations, data sharing, and other elements work together smoothly. If there is a problem or conflicts, it is up to the committee to resolve.
  3. Ensure consistent scoring across programs. For consistent data collection, you need to prioritize using the same scoring or signals across your departments and teams.
  4. Connect with the martech council to help evaluate new tech and provide feedback on any technology gaps found within the current tech stack and any potential areas of overlap or redundancy that may result.
  5. Training, enablement, change management, and onboarding new employees.

With B2B marketing teams having an average of 50 or more technologies, identifying mismatched tech, tech silos, and gaps is a must to keep your tech as functional and efficient as it can be. While silos can erupt for any number of reasons, ranging from changes in leadership to alterations in the company’s vision, it is essential to identify them and break them down for better productivity and efficiency.

Once you have your martech council and martech committee in place, you’ll be in a better position to audit your technology, eliminate silos, and make the best use of the technology you already own. These committees can work together to fill technology gaps and make selections on the tech you purchase in the future.

Ready to integrate your tech stack for maximum efficiency?  Let’s talk.