Ferrara Candy, purveyor of such iconic candy brands as Black Forest gummy bears, Jujyfruits and Lemonheads, has something of a Reese\u2019s peanut butter cup factor going for it. In a business collaboration rivaling that iconic chocolate-and-peanut-butter combination, its IT and marketing team are revamping the company\u2019s websites to make its brands more appealing to the millennial generation.\n \nFerrara Candy CIO Kristina Paschall.\n\nRecognizing that it needed to seize control of its crucial digital assets, the Chicago confectioner is bringing its website management back in house, says CIO Kristina Paschall. Ferrara relaunched Ferrara's Black Forest website and plans to redesign a dozen brands and boost their presence on social media over the course of the year. \u201cWe need to interact with our consumers through the channels that they interact in,\u201d Paschall told CIO.com.\n[ Related: Meet tech's new odd couple: the CIO and CMO ]\nFerrara's IT and marketing teams have cultivated an unusually collegial arrangement. But it's a necessary one. CEOs are forcing CIOs and CMOs to put aside their shadow IT power struggles as they conduct digital transformations. According to PwC, CEOs formulate the digital strategy and expect CIOs and CMOs to apply their technology chops and customer insights, respectively, to execute on it.\nIT, marketing implement new marketing technology\nTypically, such arrangements are tough at companies where leadership, traditions and business processes have become entrenched. But despite's its longevity -- the company was founded in 1908 -- Ferrara has the advantage of being what Paschall describes as a "$1 billion startup," and isn't afflicted by the same creative tensions. In 2012, the company merged with Farley and Sathers and subsequently added fresh talent, including Paschall, to rebuild the company for the digital age.\nThe candy market has come a long way since the days of relying on trips to the candy store and impulse buys in supermarkets. With more than 50 percent of its product portfolio resonating best with a demographic aged 30 and under, Ferrara has created new Facebook and Instagram accounts to lure digitally native millennials who prefer to interact with brands through social media.\nFor the last several months, Paschall has met regularly with Chief Commercial Officer Jamie Mattikow, Jill Manchester, senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy, and Shanna Kranz, social media and marketing manager, as they planned to redesign and assume control of its websites, which have been hosted and run by marketing agencies for years. Most of the websites had grown outdated \u2013 some were barely more than landing pages -- and Ferrara decided it needed to own the environment, reducing costs and enabling the company to make quicker updates and reduce costs. \u201cWe\u2019re very forward thinking but to be honest our platforms did not represent that,\u201d Kranz told CIO.com.\n[ Related: 10 things that keep CMOs up at night ]\nMarketing teams will often race to implement cloud technologies and ask for help from the CIOs later. Such is not the case at Ferrara, where Paschall and the marketing team evaluated Web content management providers together. In November, they selected Episerver, whose .NET-based digital marketing and ecommerce platform runs in Microsoft\u2019s Azure public cloud.\nIn January, Ferrara rolled out its new Black Forest website, featuring a card-style layout that plays well on almost any Web browser running on PCs, smartphones and tablets.\u00a0 More video marketing content is coming to the Black Forest site, which Kranz says is designed to appeal to \u201cmillennial moms who are always on the phone and tablets.\u201d\nFerrara girds for more digital overhauls \nFerrara\u2019s other brands are getting a makeover, too. Its Trolli gummy candy line has tabbed Houston Rocket basketball star James Harden as its brand ambassador.\u00a0 Revamping the corporate site is of particular importance, as the company hopes to attract prospective employees, Paschall says.\nWhile Paschall\u2019s team has proven adept at responding to the business\u2019 needs, she wants to better anticipate trends to help drive the digital strategy. \u201cI don\u2019t think we\u2019re reactive, but we\u2019re not as proactive as I would like to see us get to.\u201d\nThe work will lay the foundation for Ferrara's rather ambitious goals: Topping $2 billion revenues in four years. "Our goal is to double in size through 2020, which we'll do through organic growth and acquisitions, among other things," Paschall says.