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Is big data IT’s gift to the CEO?

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At the event Gartner ran a session on “techniques for the CIO to demonstrate IT value and secure budgets”. 

The top things that were recommended were:

Use benchmarking to provide context of IT spending in line with industry averages

Consider the metrics being used to run the business grow the business, transform the business and map these to IT and a long-term CIO plan.

Create a cash view of the IT budget 

Show the business the services that IT delivers and explain the positive impact IT can have on the business. The goal is to get the CFO to say “we’re not showing the true value of IT because I’m not giving them enough budget.”

Market the success of IT 

Think about what has been done well in the past and communicate this internally by showing the impact of IT on business outcomes.

Communicate the art of what is possible

It is important for the CIO to show the art of the possible and new opportunities if IT had a larger budget.

For many years, there has been an ongoing discussion about how to close the gap and align IT to ensure that they are delivering what the business needs. With the emergence of big data as a hot topic, there are three questions that the CIO and other senior IT executives should consider:

  • Is big data finally the thing that can close this gap between the business and IT?
  • Is big data the tool to allow the CIO to show the value of IT to the CEO?
  • Is big data IT’s gift to the CEO to support the number one priority of growth?

Data isn’t new, clearly, and there are all kinds of data (variety) needed to support the three fundamental roles of the CIO and IT – run the business, grow the business and ultimately transform the business.

There’s going to be a lot of data (volume) from the variety of data sources. IT is number four in the CEO’s priorities (up from eleventh) – the highest it has ever been in a Gartner CEO survey. IT has never been more critical or more depended on by the business – quite simply it is mission critical, has to work and has to be secure. This means you need to rely on your data and trust it (veracity).

Finally, we’re in “the age of the customer” and for customer experience and satisfaction, upsell and cross sell, it will come down to those “business moments” that make a difference. Making the right decision quickly relies on the data being real-time (velocity).

There is a lot of talk in the industry about the last “V” of big data – value and time-to-value. If data, increasingly big data, has to deliver value then it needs to be made accessible to everyone and democratized to support key business moments.

Instead of talking about value, maybe the CIO should be explaining big data as a key enabler in speeding up time-to-growth. If growth is the CEO’s number one priority – is big data IT and the CIO’s gift to the CEO to accelerate and deliver a fast and effective “time-to-growth”?

Matt Davies is director of product marketing at Splunk.

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