Organizations are proving the value of big data, a study by Accenture has found, but the work required to take advantage of analytics enterprise wide is only beginning. Nearly all respondents who had completed a big data project were happy with the results (92 percent) or believe big data is important to their organizations (94 percent). But they still see several challenges, including security, budget and a lack of talent to implement and run it.
So far, companies are focused on technical training to tackle these challenges: 54 percent provide training internally and half are taking advantage of vendor workshops. Fewer are directly tackling business issues. Only 45 percent are leading workshops focused on business cases or “socialization” of big data concepts.
What steps are you taking to advance big data in your organization? Has training for technologists come first? Do data consumers need more education?
The Electronic Frontier Foundation says that before we make decisions about how best to protect privacy from being compromised by big data, we ought to know more about how big data analytics benefits anyone. The greatest threats to privacy appear to come from analyses that have “statistical weaknesses,” according to EFF Staff Technologist Jeremy Gillula, in a blog post summarizing comments he planned to make at an Federal Trade Commission workshop yesterday. Don’t do junk science, using data that you’ve kept too long, and for purposes that you haven’t disclosed, and some of the risks, at least, go away. Also, he suggests, your organization won’t be throwing good money at unreliable results.
Do you agree? Can you protect privacy by being smart about how you use data?
InformationWeek has a preview of the Society for Information Management’s annual IT Trends survey. Security tops the list of CIO concerns this year, writes Editor-in -Chief Rob Prestion, followed by hiring talented staff. Alignment–a big priority anytime surveys ask about it–ranks third. In the article, sources speculate that maybe it means something different than it used to, back when IT was new and technologists didn’t have a clue about business strategy. After all, 81 percent of survey respondents reported that they are, in fact, “aligned.”
Why do surveys keep asking about this, and why do CIOs keep saying its important? IT may not be thought of as a separate entity from “the business” anymore, but the process of discovering the ways IT can drive business operations and strategy doesn’t ever end. What do you think? Is “alignment” still important? What does it mean?
September 9-11 in San Francisco, Intel is hosting their annual developer’s forum where technical experts from around the world gather to learn and play with the technology Intel is bringing to market.
At this year’s event, EMC will continue its longstanding participation in IDF and feature technology that is indicative of the 20-year deep relationship Intel and EMC have enjoyed.
Before we jump to the future, let’s look back. In July of this year, EMC announced its next gen enterprise storage, VMAX³ – the Industry’s First Enterprise Data Service Platform. Based on Intel® Xeon® Processors and the ingenuity of EMC architects, the new flash-optimized VMAX³ is more powerful, more trusted & more agile than ever before.
Next we look back to just a few days ago. NVM Express, Inc – a work group forged to define a new storage interface protocol – announced they have initiated an effort co-authored with DSSD (note recent announcement: EMC to acquire DSSD) to specify a standard for NVM Express over Fabrics which will become the next-gen technology enabling Flash-based storage.
EMC’s “flash everywhere” strategy continues to be a theme as IDF kicks off next week. EMC’s flash storage architecture based on Intel technology solves customer needs where the customer is focused on time = money.
Here are just a few of the highlights you can expect next week:
If you happen to be at the event, use the #IDF14 #EMC hashtag to connect with us, or stop by the EMC Booth at the NVM Express Showcase Community.
Here’s a mini-agenda for CIOs coping with how technology is changing how employees work, courtesy of social business consultant Jacob Morgan. First on the list: help move the culture toward one that embraces collaboration.”…There is no sense deploying a collaboration platform if employees operate in an environment with a strict hierarchy that encourages individual competition,” he writes for InformationWeek. He also argues that workplace flexibility enabled by mobility and collaboration tools is an important element to attracting top talent and thus, maintaining corporate competitveness. What do you think?
A study of more than 2,000 consumers by Acquity Group, the digital marketing arm of Accenture Interactive, finds that the biggest barrier to consumers adopting smart devices is convincing them of the value. People want concrete benefits for sharing data about themselves and their activities–and for paying a premium to do so: a device should make them safer or save money, for example. The report suggests that companies will have to pay close attention to educating customers about the benefits. This seems like another way that CIOs–with deep experience explaining the value of new technology to colleagues–can contribute. What advice would you give product and marketing teams about how to engage with consumers?
Here’s a visualization that summarizes all the different types of data organizations may want to integrate. I think it may be useful for explaining the challenges of big data integration to colleagues who aren’t steeped in data management or analytics. One way it could be helpful: you can easily see how different types of data compare and identify (at a high level, anyway), which aspects of each might need the most attention. View the full visualization.
I’ve been reading through the list of CIO’s 2014 CIO 100 winners. When I worked at CIO magazine, my role included running this annual program. I loved the project because, in the selection process, you get a great view of the state of the IT art. Applicants were encouraged to submit their best work. Projects that used cutting-edge technology always stood out, but business impact, and collaboration among IT and other business teams, would win the day.
Take a look at the current crop of winners (which includes EMC. You can read about that project—a business analytics as a service application—here). While the brief project descriptions don’t provide the entire story of how they came to be, if you read enough of them, you can see that IT at the winning companies is generally 1) attuned to business strategy and customer behavior and 2) open-minded and creative about how to apply technology to business challenges. Among those recognized for how they use cloud computing, there’s a broad mix of approaches: SaaS, IaaS, hybrid and private clouds; infrastructure transformation, business productivity and consumer-facing services; integration with analytics, financial and social tools.
• At manufacturing services provider Celestica, IT responded to a customer’s request for help transforming its supply chain with an initiative that became a new line of business: assisting customers with managing their supply chains.
• Healthagen, which provides technology for managing healthcare, integrated public cloud infrastructure services, productivity tools and social apps to speed up product development.
• Flat-glass maker PPG built an application to help architects visualize virtually how glass will look on their buildings, giving them more options than they have looking at physical samples.
• Financial services company PNC created a device-independent cash-flow management and forecasting application for its small businesses customers.
Whether you’ve won an award recently or not, what about your approach to leading and managing IT has led to your best work?
Commentary by Search CIO points a finger at thin-skinned CIOs, quoting a security consultant who thinks that maybe some IT execs don’t want to point out security problems because it makes them look bad. Associate Site Editor Francesca Sales writes, “information security systems are only as good as the humans guarding the gates.” There’s truth to that statement, I think. But given a serious cybersecurity failure gets people fired, the politics within the company would have to be pretty toxic for any competent exec to put his or her image first. Have you ever worked in a place where your peers didn’t want to hear about risk, or get bad news? Is there a way to change the dynamic?
A column by Deloitte outlines ways that benchmarking your IT spending might lead you astray when you’re budgeting. Instead of comparing your company to others, it’s better to examine whether the money you’re spending is supporting business objectives, focus on making IT processes efficient and lowering unit costs. Do you find benchmarks useful? How do you decide that you’re spending the right amount?