New research from SaaS-based website operations (WebOps) platform Pantheon explores the relationship between marketing and IT leaders as they develop, manage, update and evolve their most important digital asset—their website.
The survey, conducted in partnership with Hanover Research, uncovered a collective focus on improving website agility; however, competing priorities and collaboration gaps create significant challenges for both groups as they navigate their organizations’ digital efforts.
More than 400 marketing and IT leaders across North America and the UK weighed in on topics including website ownership, strategic focus, and the biggest barriers to driving results. Both groups pointed to internal struggles that hinder program execution. More than half of respondents (59 percent) stated that making a simple change to their website can take more than a month, and 19 percent said updates take four-to-six months. Given this dynamic, 86 percent of respondents say they want to improve website agility.
“Agility is a must for today’s WebOps teams, and this survey tells us that both marketers and IT leaders recognize that this is crucial to delivering business results,” said Christy Marble, Pantheon Chief Marketing Officer, in a news release. “The organizations that achieve extraordinary digital performance are those whose cross-functional teams rally around continual process improvement. When we empower our people to remove friction from both internal processes and from our customer journey, then we increase customer productivity and employee productivity. That is when we see real business impact.”
Foundationally, both marketing and IT leaders want to deliver extraordinary user experiences through their sites, with 86 percent of respondents ranking it as the site’s most important job. To get there, these groups will first need to tackle the team dynamics standing in the way.
The unintentional wedge between marketing and IT
Both marketers and IT leaders have a stake in the website’s performance; however, they don’t agree on who is the site’s primary decision-maker. Eighty-four percent of marketers claim decision-making responsibility but so do 87 percent of IT leaders.
This ownership debate creates a push-and-pull on whose focus areas are most important, with the website at the center of the struggle. In fact, more than one-third (34 percent) of respondents anticipate competing priorities will be this year’s biggest obstacle.
Agility is essential, but collaboration is challenging
The ability to develop, test and release website changes quickly and reliably is essential for both marketers and IT leaders. Of those surveyed, 82 percent agree that agility significantly impacts their organization’s digital marketing efforts.
Some (22 percent) say market trends are changing too fast to keep up, but the bigger obstacle to a more agile website is collaboration. It ranked highest among respondents, with 42 percent saying working with others to develop and manage the site is their biggest challenge. More than half (52 percent) say clearer role definition across teams can improve collaboration at their organizations, and another 49 percent agree that streamlined processes to update the website are key.
The power of WebOps
Nearly all (98 percent) respondents agree that adopting WebOps practices would improve the productivity of their web teams, fostering better collaboration and aligning the website toward shared goals.
“Modern WebOps teams are growth drivers for their companies,” said Marble. “Organizations that prioritize improving agility and integrating WebOps processes and technologies will be most competitive and deliver the best customer experiences.”