UPS's Facebook success is concrete example of IT-marketing alignment

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It's critical that the entire enterprise understands how it can use digital technology to move the business forward. But in order to move this know-how outside of IT alone, you need collaboration. At UPS, we work very closely with our communications group that handles brand and advertising, as well as our marketing organization that does marketing research and develops new products. This partnership allows us to more quickly recognize the opportunities within our target market, and devise a technology strategy to achieve results.

As an example, when we introduced UPS My Choice and UPS Access Points, our marketing team advised us to develop a Facebook app, as well. They reasoned that many of our customers, particularly the millennials, are logged into Facebook throughout the day, and so providing an application that works in that environment, one that would offer them the UPS My Choice experience in a familiar setting, would be key to adoption. It was a huge success – with over 14 million sign ups – and a great example of the benefit that can result from closer IT and marketing alignment.

Another way that we are able to stay ahead of technology opportunities, and ensure that we're able to bring them to a place where they make a difference in our business or the larger ecosystem that we operate within, is that we segregate our IT organization and align it by business function. While I work with the marketing organization and our brand communication organization, there are other groups in IT that align with, for example, supply chain services, our airline, internal package systems, and other functional areas of our larger organization.

This alignment with the different functional groups enables people within IT to build cordial and collaborative relationships across the enterprise. We're able to talk about things on a routine basis, interact daily, and more easily arrive at a mutual understanding of what technology is capable of, and what kind of a market opportunity it might present for the business at large.

In a world in which technology changes so quickly, having these alliances in place is a great way to ensure that your IT organization can keep pace with digital transformation.

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Ken Finnerty is Vice President of Customer Technology and Customer Information Management at UPS. UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Ken is responsible for all solutions that directly touch the customer, including, customer integration technologies, UPS shipping systems, package tracking solutions, UPS’s website and mobile applications. Ken is a member of the UPS IT Governance Committee, which directs UPS technology investments ensuring alignment with business strategy. During his 25 years with UPS Ken has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility including Director of Global Network Systems, Director of UPS Airlines Applications and Senior Director of Systems Programming/ He assumed his current role in 2013. Ken has a B.S.in Business Logistics from Penn State University.

Ken Finnerty is Vice President of Customer Technology and Customer Information Management at UPS. UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business.

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