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The ultimate point: there’s going to be a shipload of companies creating software for marketers, and that ecosystem will grow, not shrink. Having thousands of vendors who build software that’s relevant to marketers will seem more and more natural. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find a company in the marketing space that doesn’t have some software component to its business.
It’s the opposite of convergence into a handful of software providers. It’s ubiquity — we’re hurling towards a future where every company is a software company to some degree.
The “one suite to rule them all” vision is folly for two reasons: (1) with the explosion of software, and the hundreds and hundreds of programs that are connected directly or indirectly to marketing’s world, it’s impossible to integrate all of them; but that’s okay, because (2) most software doesn’t really need tight integration across that entire spectrum — the costs would outweigh the benefits.
IT probably shouldn’t manage the day-to-day operations of a marketing automation platform — that’s better done by the marketing team, with hands-on digital marketers, marketing technologists, and/or marketing operations staff. Marketing should adhere to rules and oversight from IT, but they should wield their tools-of-the-trade with their own hands. And they should have the predominant decision rights to choose the software tools that will best achieve their business objectives.
While there are reasonable debates to be made about where the boundaries should be drawn — what should be governed by IT, what should be managed by IT, what should be owned by IT — the whole point of this post is to illustrate that, at least to a certain degree, this diaspora of software has already happened.
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"Although we seldom think about them this way, most American communities as they exist today were built for the spry and mobile. We've constructed millions of multi-story, single-family homes where the master bedroom is on the second floor, where the lawn outside requires weekly upkeep, where the mailbox is a stroll away. We've designed neighborhoods where everyday errands require a driver's license. We've planned whole cities where, if you don't have a car, it's not particularly easy to walk anywhere — especially not if you move gingerly.
This reality has been a fine one for a younger country. Those multi-story, single-family homes with broad lawns were great for Baby Boomers when they had young families. And car-dependent suburbs have been fine for residents with the means and mobility to drive everywhere. But as the Baby Boomers whose preferences drove a lot of these trends continue to age, it's becoming increasingly clear that the housing and communities we've built won't work very well for the old."
Via Seth Dixon