As I blogged earlier this week, being a CIO in 2015 is no cakewalk. But today’s environment also presents a lot of opportunities for CIOs to own their destiny and make it a great one. You’ve just got take a classic page from the CIO playbook and use IT to transform the business.

Buy platforms, not point products

CIO2Let’s take a look at what some of those opportunities are. Here’s an excerpt from theComputerworld Forecast Study 2015: “IT decision makers’ spending on security technologies will increase 46% in 2015, with cloud computing increasing 42% and business analytics investments up 38%.” Breaking it down further:

  • Security: In an era in which Americans fear credit card data theft more than terrorism, data security plays a huge role in retaining customers, the key to driving long-term revenues. High-profile data breaches have been mercifully out of the news for a few months now, which means that CIOs’ efforts to anodize their data security are working. Improved security means more revenues — use this fact to your advantage.
  • Cloud computing: The rise of cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) has spurred an incredible amount of departmental purchasing. Some industry sources peg that level along the lines of, “IT departments estimate they are using 51 cloud services, but were actually using an average of 730.”

Here is the secret to regaining IT leadership of cloud computing: IT leaders buy platforms, not point solutions. Departments gravitate toward point solutions that solve immediate problems, but saddle organizations with a bunch of product silos that produce even-deadlier data silos.
In the martech space, this phenomenon is well documented. There are now nearly2,000 martech software products, many of which are scattered across your company, cobbled by marketers into a poorly functioning “frankenstack.”

To tame the madness and drive the business forward, CIOs are taking proactive ownership of cloud software initiatives, strategically choosing business intelligence platforms for their organizations that empower business users with consistent, governed access to unified data – a traditional IT strength.

  • Business analytics: This is another area where departmental needs are exploding and unified data is essential. CIOs are in an ideal position to drive discovery and transformation by choosing “Networked BI” platforms that meld the accuracy of enterprise-class data governance with department agility. These BI solutions free centralized IT from the burden of physically replicating data and metadata infrastructures, yet deliver the data governance required to give decentralized groups the accurate data they require.

“Networked BI” is a platform approach that is transforming enterprise analytics, and a big opportunity for CIOs to give the business the discovery engine needed to grow.

To learn how Birst helps CIOs to use IT to transform the business, click here.

The preceding is a blog post originally published in CIO on September 24, 2015.