Two years ago, the TIBCO Spotfire “Trends and Outliers” blog recapped the role of the CIO and BI. We think it’s a good time to look at how far we’ve come and expand upon some lessons we’ve learned along the way.
Analytics IS a Top Priority
Back then, IBM’s study on CIOs and BI said that 83% of information officers see BI and analytics as “top priorities for the businesses and they seek ways to act upon the growing amounts of data now at their disposal.”
The survey also indicated that analytics would be considered a competitive differentiator within the next three to five years.
Big Data is the Norm
Big data is a big deal and we’re seeing companies use it to their advantage. But we’ve also seen the challenges it presents – scalability and security.
Barb Darrow, a senior writer for GigaOM, recently blogged about this. In her recap of the 2013 MIT CIO Symposium, she wrote, “…a common mistake is to confuse correlation with causation. Without the right background knowledge and statistical analysis tools, you can still leap to the wrong conclusions about your data.”
The CIO’s role here is to be a voice of reason in the case of data deluge, and Darrow offers a great lesson in keeping data real.
The CIO vs. Business Users war is still around, but the tide is turning
The CIO has to think about the business side of the house much more than what was necessary two years ago.
The sentiment around BI back in 2011 was “frustration.” We think that the tide has turned: Companies will always have frustration when it comes to large projects. However, as we’ve seen in numerous customer case studies, BI and analytics projects are delivering real value to organizations that embrace them.
Darrow wrote that “the best [CIOs] embed themselves in the business cases of the company. And they have to be active participants in business talks, not order takers for technology.”
Mobile is Where It’s At
Mobile BI was just getting started back then; now mobile is the norm. There’s an app for just about everything, as users have adopted self-service data analytics tools and apps for their tablets and smartphones.
With Mobile Comes BYOD
Bringing your own device is creating new challenges for the CIO and users – privacy, access and support. Just when you didn’t have enough work to do, you now have to balance the load even more. Users want to use their own stuff, but they don’t want your IT guys getting personal when they need help. It’s a fine line, but one that can pay off in areas where you can shine – lowering costs, improved productivity across the company, as well as “working well with others,” as Darrow notes.
New Challenger – the CMO
An underlying current in all of the changes and observations we’ve shared is that data is attached to everything. And there’s a new challenger in the ring for CIOs – the CMO.
Darrow touches on this in her MIT recap and it’s been a trending topic in the technology space for quite some time. She also wrote a great piece discussing the role of the CMO in IT spending. (It’s well worth the read.)
Spending and Tech Choices: CMO vs. CIO
Reports are showing that the CMO will outspend the CIO in the next five years on technology – especially as the technology heads to the cloud. And we’ll look at it from the same point of view as we did in 2011 – IT and marketing (as well as other departments) should work together on tech purchases for the good of the company.
And the CMO’s land is a great place to make that happen. We’ve seen more and more pilot projects start in marketing and make their way to accounting, HR, etc. It’s all about the good of the company.
The Real Challenge with the CMO
CMOs also play the challenger in the BYOD and mobile sphere. Their teams are data-driven and they need tools that help them predict instead of react. We predict that this area will be a continual focus for the CIO in the next few years since the position acts as the protector of the company’s data structure.
We want to know your thoughts: What will the CIO landscape look like in 2015? What technology, tools, and trends will keep us up at night? Leave us a comment with your feedback.
For more information, you can read the Gartner Report: Top Business Technology Trends of 2013.