Friday, November 15, 2013

An Analytic IT

An Analytic IT is a right step in refining its Reputation as Innovation Engine. 

Most of IT organizations today still have the reputation as a back office or help desk, as maintenance function rather than innovation engine. Big data analytics offers IT organizations a great opportunity to provide value to the business and earn respect by serving as a thought leader on the technology. How does IT deliver business value from managing Big Data projects, how does IT benefit from big data analytics as well? And from CIO perspective,  how to run an analytic IT?

Big Data provides clues to identify growth opportunities and locate business problems.  IT knows business well and also has access in all sorts of data of the organization... what is needed to do is to develop a high-performing data analytics team to identify unknown opportunities for business or help them analyze the data and find out reason of some business problems... if successful IT can then earn a commendable respect in respective business.From an IT perspective, one potential win from a big-data analytics project is a reduction in the need to do ad-hoc analysis and special tools to deliver information. A more systematic investment in the analytics offsets larger costs for continual ad-hoc work (even if the costs are merely opportunity costs). Data Analytics can also help with scaling and capacity planning. Similarly, various IT log data can be analyzed to understand trends & will help to decide the strategy. Pushing for big data analytics is one of those things that organizations (or people) who have never had them can often fail to see the value in.

More often than not, IT is not the end of analytics, but a media to the end. There are few use cases for IT as an end-user of big data analytics solutions, more frequently IT would be more on the enabling end (selecting a scalable analytics infrastructure, adopting new technologies, integrating structured and unstructured data) for big data analytics. But IT using its business sense can help business analyze the data & unearth unknown benefit, as it is often difficult for non-technical people to understand the incredibly broad scope of solutions that technology can provider to business problems. They often think of only evolutionary solutions rather than revolutionary ones. So as IT dept per se, BIG Data is an opportunity which can put IT in much stronger place in strategic planning & execution.  

Data Analytics will enable Continuous Process Improvement. IT Data can be analyzed to showcase the improvement in customer efficiency, process improvement & business benefits etc. While IT should view itself as a business, the IT departments should also view themselves as a business entity with requirements to look for ways to improve, better serve their customers, become more secure, more efficient and responsive, etc. To do this they need to collect data on their customers, services, and processes, just like the business sector collects data on their products and customers. These IT related data collections can be just as large as the business sector data and be just as valuable in its analytical output. In addition, most of the Big Data is created by Machine to Machine data today. This data needs to be stored and managed cost effectively. Also, there will be a lot of usage of hybrid cloud business model. Seasonality of business will be the key to analyzing for IT department to ensure effective cost management.

Still, big data analytics projects shouldn’t be portrayed as magic bullets without thoughtful planning, Any project, IT or not, needs to be driven by business justification, the key success factor of any project is well alignment of people, process, and technology. And running an analytic IT is a right step in refining IT reputation as an innovation engine.


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