Why Data and Engineering Teams Need to Own the CDP | RudderStack

By neub9
3 Min Read

CDP (Customer Data Platform) has gained popularity in the software world, with a recent survey finding that 75 percent of respondents had already deployed a CDP, were in the process, or were planning on deployment in the next 12 months.

While legacy companies are rebranding as CDPs to increase their valuations, new CDP startups are attracting over a billion dollars from VCs. Despite widespread adoption, the way organizations implement CDPs has a fundamental flaw.

The term isn’t familiar to many Engineering organizations, as marketing departments are typically the drivers of CDP adoption. This lack of technical involvement has led to many CDP projects not meeting expectations or failing altogether.

CDPs are not a one-size-fits-all solution and should be part of a larger customer data conversation including technical discussions around the infrastructure and pipelines that connect the entire customer data stack.

To understand the demand for customer data platforms, it is helpful to think about customer data itself and how IT organizations have related to it. Before the internet, businesses kept track of customer data in ledger books mostly for accounting purposes. As businesses digitized, IT managed the technology and systems on-prem. The internet changed everything, allowing for not only tracking transactions but also more granular data points.

The transition to SaaS and cloud brought about a shift from on-prem systems to cloud-based systems, with the perception of IT changing from business enablers to business blockers. However, SaaS also resulted in the creation of data silos, complicating the accessibility and use of customer data.

The birth of CDPs was fueled by the pain marketers felt due to data silos, promising to bring customer data from various SaaS systems into a single place. However, the disconnect between CDPs and IT led to functional power but a lack of integration with core infrastructure and apps, as well as concerns about sensitive internal data being sent to multiple third-party systems.

In conclusion, while CDPs have become widespread, it is crucial for Engineering and IT organizations to have a key voice in the strategic conversation around CDP implementation and management to ensure that CDP projects meet expectations and integrate with core infrastructure and applications.

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