The CIO Dilemma – Innovation vs Risk

Survival in the digital economy is forcing all businesses to realign their business models. Business leaders seek new revenue streams, born from data and analytics. The digital landscape places pressure on their Chief Information Officers (CIO’s) to deliver solutions that are innovative, risk free and do not place additional pressure on already constrained budgets.

A Gartner study shows that CIOs agree that the top three go-to-market digital impacts for their enterprise are; more revenue through better operations, engaging and empowering employees, and more business through digital channels.
Product and service life cycles are shrinking and low barriers to entry and exit are creating competition where both upstarts and traditional players can come from nowhere and quickly gain dominance.

To this means, how does the modern day CIO embrace the new era of digital “everything”, while keeping the keys to the kingdom safe?

The answer is that there is no silver bullet to solve the CIO’s dilemma, but a multitude different views and models that can reduce the risk.

At OQLIS, we have seen one of the most prevalent trends on the CIO’s radar is that of data analytics to enhance a organisations goal of growth. Although not a new concept to “slice and dice” data to make effective business decisions, advancements in technology have made the process vastly accessible to just about any business user. This poses massive risk to organisations as employees can access services outside of the traditional safe zones. A recent example we encountered was a customer posting an entire CRM database on Dropbox for testing, as their IT department would not open and share a secure port on their firewall.
Finding the balance between taming the business user’s appetite for consumption of insecure services and providing innovation that satisfies and exceeding business objective is key, here are a few point we believe should be considered:

1. Security, security and security
We cannot over state the importance of security, cybercrime and espionage is not something that happens in a 007 movie, there are sophisticated career criminal looking to make a quick buck on selling data to competitors or holding information ransom.

2. Accessibility
Smart phones, notebooks and tablets have changed the consumer landscape making business user and consumer always connected and open for communication. This allows for flexible work hours where accessibility to information needs to be provided.

3. Self Service
Gone are the days where the IT department controlled what users can use to enhance business decisions. If it is not supplied effectively, users will simple find it somewhere else, so it is important to make sure solutions have the ability to provide a pre developed view on what is important for decision making, while allowing for some free discovery for those golden nuggets that change business.

4. Data Integrity and Control
Always have ownership of your data, ensure that business users have the ability to discover what they need to, but do not have the ability to place your entire customer database on Dropbox. Create a strong governance model that ensures the business users have access to data that is relevant to their needs.

5. Time to market
Deliver in hours or days to your customers, partners, and suppliers. The consumer is not willing to wait for your organisation eventually give them what they require, someone else will do that!

Every audience is different, and yet each appreciates the personal touch that your data product can provide. In the end, first mover advantage can be yours, new revenue, sticky customers, and new opportunities to repeat this success.

Contact to gaining competitive advantage in your analytics strategy!