London, UK - 28 April 2014 – Big data is a big opportunity for CIOs. An IDC white paper, The CIO’s Chance of a Lifetime: Using Big Data and Analytics as the Ticket to Strategic Relevance, reveals that today’s data-intensive world provides CIOs the opportunity to support business objectives in a strategic, outcome-oriented way. Sponsored by SAS, the study surveyed 578 IT, line of business and analytics managers and executives.
Although big data and analytics are fundamentally transforming business, many respondents struggle to calculate – or even articulate – their value. While 95 per cent saw benefits from analytics, only 31 per cent could actually measure that value.
A disconnect exists between IT and lines of business (LOBs). IT is frequently seen as a roadblock rather than an enabler to analytics, leading LOBs to develop workarounds and “shadow IT” approaches. Specifically:
- LOBs see faster time to ROI from analytics than IT.
- LOBs are actively working with chief analytics officers, while IT is less connected.
- IT is less involved in setting analytics strategy than it believes.
- LOBs are less satisfied with their collaboration with IT than the reverse.
Alys Woodward, Research Director at IDC, said: “Analytics gives the CIO the power to make IT a true enabler to business: by providing the framework to access and analyse data that will truly underpin a range of business decisions, from operational decisions to strategic decisions, the CIO has the power to provide unprecedented value to the business. A CIO that truly drives success in analytics - and is recognised as doing this by the business - will never be seen as just a cost center.
“IDC research consistently demonstrates a correlation between good use of analytics and strong organisational performance. While the path from information to insight is often strewn with wrong turnings or, hopefully small, failures, improving decision-making can only benefit the organisation. Analytics is challenging, but worth the effort.”
“Individual departments are gathering data and using departmental analysts to cobble together some semblance of an analytics strategy,” said Tony Hamilton, global marketing consultant at SAS. “But this approach fails to achieve a single customer view or an accurate assessment of where the business is and where it needs to go.
“When IT and business align, wonderful insights emerge. And when you distribute and scale those insights in the right context to the right recipients, new business opportunities arise. The CIO has a fantastic opportunity to lead both the business and technical conversations, allocating proper resources and establishing an enterprise-wide approach to gathering data, integrating it and ensuring its integrity.”
Analytics finding a home – but not in IT
Some 38 per cent of organisations said the majority of their analytics staff reside in a centralised analytics group outside IT – that figure would have been close to zero five years ago – with 21 per cent saying that group primarily determines analytics strategy.
Organisational culture a stumbling block
The survey also found that the culture of an organisation creates significant stumbling blocks. Organisations must overcome resistance by top management, organisational silos and the IT-business disconnect to maximise the benefits of analytics.
IT part of the problem, not the solution
There were large differences between LOB and IT viewpoints when it came to how helpful IT is in the analytic process. Specifically there was a 14 per cent variation between IT and LOB respondents as to whether IT is the primary analytics strategy developer. IT was 10 per cent more satisfied with collaboration around analytics than LOB. Perhaps most tellingly, nearly twice as many IT respondents believe IT decides on analytics project funding.
For more information on how big data and analytics can drive CIO value, read: http://www.sas.com/en_us/offers/14q1/cio-chance-lifetime/register.html.
The research, which was conducted in the first half of 2013, is based on interviews, roundtable sessions, and a survey of IT, LOB and analytics leaders. IDC white paper, sponsored by SAS, The CIO’s Chance of a Lifetime: Using Big Data and Analytics as the Ticket to Strategic Relevance, Doc #242811, December 2013.
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