Raise the question of IT's role in analytics, innovation, and insight, and you'll find people generally agree that it's lacking oomph. They'll vary in opinion, however, on whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.
This is a perennial point of discussion, but, as IDC pointed out in a recent whitepaper (registration required), today's business focus on data-driven decision making increases its significance. IT needs to be an enabler of analytical insight, not a gating factor.
As they work toward this, many CIOs will find themselves in a hard slog. IT, perhaps, has too long been considered something to work around, not with, as a first-quarter survey of more than 100 global IT executives reveals.
In the survey, conducted by the business transformation solution provider Trace3, 47% of CIOs agreed that IT's overall goal is "to provide a framework to support innovation and drive revenue." But only 10% said they're kept in the know on key initiatives and rollout schedules. That means most feel they don't have the knowledge needed to account for necessary technologies in long-term objectives, Trace3 reported.
Though the survey wasn't particularly aimed at the relationship between IT and analytics, the findings are relevant nonetheless. For example, I could easily read big-data analytics into this statement by Trace3 president Josh Berezin in a press release on the survey findings: "Companies today have an unprecedented opportunity to embrace technology in a way that drives top-line growth and contributes to their competitive differentiation and market expansion."
After all, aren't business growth, competitive differentiation, and market expansion oft-touted potential benefits of big-data undertakings?
Further, as Berezin said, "companies still face serious challenges from a people and process standpoint in their ability to fully embrace and utilize the latest technology innovations." People and processes, we know too, can be key inhibitors to successful analytics.
In addition, I found this particular data point particularly striking: Thirty-four percent of respondents said IT is focused on back-end processes and generally left out of larger strategic decisions. Certainly, if IT is left out of big-data initiatives (or, worse yet, deliberately kept in the dark), it'll never build up the necessary infrastructure for supporting new and varied types of data projects. Will this leave big data in pockets? Survey respondents seem to be split on this potential -- 48% gave their companies a "solid" rating for delivering new technology initiatives, but the rest admitted their companies are "slow," "shaky," or "shameful."
Again, Trace3 wasn't asking about IT and big-data analytics in particular, but the takeaways still apply. IT needs to become more innovative, and I think playing an integral role on analytics would help it get there. Would you agree? Watch the video below on analytics and IT, and share your thoughts.
— Beth Schultz, , Editor in Chief, AllAnalytics.com