Organizational Excellence: Building the Optimal IT Services Marketing Function

Buy now

Organizational Excellence: Building the Optimal IT Services Marketing Function


Research Abstract

Why is organizational structure important? Why are ITSMA members evaluating the state of their organizations? The answers to these questions lie in both academic research and the practical experience of services marketing executives.

Organizational design theory describes organizations as systems, complex structures with extensive interdependencies: personnel, and the jobs they are supposed to perform, culture, and, the environment or context in which the organization operates. A change in one part of the organization causes a change in another, which in turn affects the original changed entity. The importance of the organizational structure is magnified because managers spend much of their time working with these factors. They determine the levels of hierarchy and reporting relationships, they set the level of performance and its measurement, and they hire people to fill the roles they design. The objective, and the challenge, is to ensure that these combinations of variables fit together to produce the desired outcomes.

Insights gained from the senior services marketers interviewed for this study put this theory into perspective. Services marketing managers point out that the heightened focus on the services marketing organization reflects the increasingly strategic role marketing plays in defining and achieving the goals of the services organization and the entire company. Accordingly, managers are focused on a range of organizational issues that impact reporting structures, functional alignment, hiring and professional development practices, measurement and reward systems, and integration with other key corporate entities. With the continuing evolution of services marketing, these issues are increasingly considered to be strategic and have a serious impact on the long-term effectiveness of the services marketing function.

Report Content and Structure

ITSMA’s report on the services marketing organization has two components: First, ITSMA analysis provides thought-leadership in a full range of organizational issues, including:

  • The roles and responsibilities of services marketing
  • The impact of the organizational model on achieving business objectives
  • Advantages/disadvantages of different organizational structures
  • Reporting structures
  • Hiring requirements and challenges
  • Professional development
  • Measurement and reward systems
  • The relationship between services marketing and sales
  • Alignment of services marketing objectives with overall corporate objectives

The basis for the information gathering and analysis was in-depth interviews with 22 services marketing executives from 17 leading IT organizations. The analysis is supported throughout by ITSMA’s Best Practice and annual Benchmarking research.

The second part of this report includes case studies of four IT services marketing organizations: EDS, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Lucent. The case studies examine the history of the services marketing function, strategic priorities, staffing, and functional responsibilities of services marketing for each company.