Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CIO as Chief Intelligence Officer: Dance with Big Data?

Information is life blood in modern businesses today; however, very few organizations reach such information maturity. What are the requirements to get the data dance? Are CIOs the best guys/gals to think, deploy and run Business Intelligence projects in their enterprises? Perhaps it's time for CIOs going back to their root, to master data and information, and fit in the original meaning of "I" in their title as Chief Information/Intelligence Officer.

  1. CIOs can be the ideal people to deploy BI projects since CIOs are responsible for everything about IT. In addition, the role lends itself to having exposure to all aspects of the business and how all functional areas tie together. As such, the CIO has a perspective on the whole business, and its operations that few others in an organization can match.  
  1. Vision Implementation” is Team Work: While only the CIO can be expected to complete the technical implementation correctly, the entire management team must be involved in the "vision implementation" - making sure that the intention of the system is well-defined and met.  
  1. Only if a CIO is an Information Evangelist - someone who can drive business thinking on what and how information can help compete better. CIO also needs to be an evangelist of performance, profitability and customer experience. There is a huge number of opportunities out there to effectively use information that already exists in organizations.  
  1. CIOs can be a catalyst to a BI implementation, but a lot depends on the Business folks about how much they're able to see what the CIOs see... The reality in most organizations is that BI is conceptualized as a grand data warehouse that will take business places....and it often ends up being used to get reports that do not make any difference to a business. The key of  Business Intelligence is Information, not the technology. 
  1. Putting the Right Person in Charge. Whether this is the CIO or a mid-level exec is not the issue. It is putting the right person that knows how to lead (evangelize) the effort and bring the users to the information that will allow them to create the knowledge to change the way business is run. 

6. The key to success is creating traction in a given BI project or (pick any word you like) is that the leader can sell it internally for the entire life cycle of the initiative. Many projects have failed or were severely underutilized due to unclear objectives, desire for the fancy IT solution, not realizing the importance of data management, and the inability to lead the troops in the new ways. There’s lack of the respect of understanding the business community and the limitations of the technology implemented.

7. Who would head up the BI initiative if not the CIO?
The CIOs role is 80% business, 20% technology, as the CIO role continues to evolve to a more business focused executive with a core competency in IT, the CIO will have an intuitive understanding of the measures and dimensions required by functional areas to explore potential BI projects. He/she is the right person to bring the project to reality, but he'/she is not the only person who must decide what it must be when it gets there. It prompts the board of directors to take direct accountability for IT governance and to take responsibility for IT expenditure and projects. In other words, if the project impacts the well-being of the company, they all have to be involved.

Read More about magic "I" in CIOs:


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