Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment
Big data is the first thing that comes to mind because it will allow my organization to gain customer insights like we’ve never had before. We’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your services and look for new opportunities to serve our customers better. Cloud and social media are also game-changers but there’s still a lot of hype behind the madness and there are significant security and privacy issues that have yet to be resolved.
Lessons I learned as a CIO that can help you
Communication: Can’t stress this enough. Learn how to listen, reflect and respond. If you’re a good communicator, everything else gets a lot easier.
Openness: Listen to your staff, users and leadership peers. Make them part of the decision making process to guarantee buy-in for IT projects. When everyone is on the same page and feels part of the process, problems are easy to solve.
Embrace Diversity: Surround yourself with people that make up for your weaknesses and think differently than you do. Leaders those feel threatened by someone who is smarter than them are sure to fail. There’s a reason why companies like GE, Apple & Google, that recruit globally, do so well.
Know Your Business: Better understand what makes your business tick. Things like knowing the business drivers, metrics and what’s important to your company and being able to align with them will gain you a lot of respect and credibility. Otherwise, you’re just a necessary expense.
Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations
There are pretty much the same challenges with a $100 million dollar company just like the $5 billion dollar company I came from with about the same proportion of IT spend. Take for example security. Any mid-sized organization that feels their size makes them less susceptible to malware threats or even data leakage is fooling themselves. I’m pleased to see the growth in security as a service but think the industry has a long way to go with a lot of opportunities for niche players that cater to my size market.
The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier
For me it’s security and data leakage. Penetrating an organization from the inside is relatively simple and very effective. As more and more of our private lives become publicly accessible via social media, so do the phishing opportunities which allow someone to gain authorized access to a company’s environment. I call these individuals “trusted intruders” and every organization should fear them.
My concern is that everyone thinks they can’t be phished when the fact is, about 15%-25% of the people I target in a pen test fail.
My roles & responsibilities as a CIO
Since I’m a relatively new CIO, probably the biggest change is the transition from managing technology to leveraging technology to drive operations. I’ve been fortunate to work for a CIO in my prior organization that not only had a good technology background but could also align our IT strategy to our divisional business goals. I believe the role of a CIO has already changed from being technology focused to one that helps drive business strategy.
With the emergence of big data, some of the biggest applications have been in the core marketing process, like customer analytics, fraud and compliance, operational analytics, and enterprise data warehouse optimization. Gaining customer insights on their behavioral pattern offer crucial insights when it comes to designing targeted marketing campaigns. The use of big data helps marketers make sense of all the data that they have collected in relation to retention costs, customer satisfaction, average transaction value, etc.
Today, a customer’s digital footprint is becoming increasingly more valuable. With more companies conducting personalized marketing campaigns and with all their information floating around the web, the customer’s social media feed and digital world will be flooded with personalized advertisements.
Going forward, marketers can harness the power of big data analytics to find the emerging trends in the market and provide real-time advertising options. As advertisements have the most impact when they are delivered to the right audiences at a specific time, big data can predict purchase trends and can identify customer behavior—providing advertisements when customers are in specific areas or when they purchase specific items. With the ever-increasing amount of connectivity, it surely means that the volume of data is constantly growing. For marketers, this offers a goldmine of insights on customer behavior, trends, and preferences, enabling them only to offer better advertisements and more personalized marketing campaigns.
Big data is not only elevating the business processes to the next level but is also streamlining the existing ones.
Companies have been deploying innovative methods to analyze and systematically extract useful data from various data sets. Access to organized data set provides a certain edge to an organization that can ensure long term returns. Big data is an advancement in line with the above trend that allows processing of massive data sets that are difficult (or sometimes impossible) to process using conventional means. Big data is transforming industries across verticals. Here are some of the ways it's impacting the businesses:
Greater Business Intelligence
Business intelligence refers to a set of data tools that helps in better analysis of a business. It was there before the proliferation of big data but was limited in several aspects. Big data has fostered the growth of business intelligence as a career. Companies are hiring business intelligence experts as they assist a company with more intelligent decision-making.
Targeted marketing is an important aspect, too, which is strongly dependent on the data quality with the marketing team. Big data allows the team to create laser targeted marketing campaigns. It also allows better accuracy with a greater focus on perceived customer needs. It can assist a business to understand what products customers might require in the future.
Enhanced Customer Service
The primary hindrance to an excellent customer service arises from a distorted understanding of the customer's priorities. With big data, businesses can know what their customers require before the customer voices his needs. Such proactive customer service will revolutionize the sectors that are eyeing to differentiate themselves based on top-quality customer service.
Customer Responsive Products
Apart from improving customer service using proactive approaches, big data will also allow companies to design customer responsive products. Product design can draw inspiration from customer needs that have never been possible. Rather than relying on customers to assist with the business plans, big data uses data analysis to predict what they are expecting for in a product.
CDO and Data Departments
Big data is also transforming the organizations and their internal work culture. Businesses are now constructing separate data departments as they realize data's business importance. Blue Coat Systems discovered that companies are not just elevating data in essence but are also making efforts to protect it. According to them, an average data breach costs $199. Since costs are difficult to absorb for businesses, they need to leverage big data for the purpose.
Industrial engineers understand that a process can't be more efficient without working on data quality. Big data provides rich data over each product and process. Overall they create a picture that is guiding the businesses. Big data solution analysts are trying to identify the constraints. Once the constraints are singled out, they can be removed with considerable gains in terms of performance and throughput.
With big data, companies can accurately predict trends and future events within their respective industries. An accurate prediction improves planning, and there is less chance of rewriting those plans. Thus, big data is a great asset when it comes to cost-cutting too.