CIO Straight Talk - Issue 3 - 35
Business transformations today
are being driven by the
convergence of digital and
traditional operations. But most
companies don't need more
technology to be successful. . .
[Y]ou need to understand what
and where you are, be clear
about what and where you
want to be, and then ﬁgure out
how to get there.
expensive route to find the data we need. The new class
of in-memory analytics solutions – applications like
QlikView that store queries and data in a server’s RAM
– allow us to see the vital trends in our data right from
our source systems and get that “insight” out to our
colleagues and clients in a fraction of the time and at a
fraction of the cost.
Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. So, if we just got
better at capturing information about our clients and
partners to better understand their needs, found new
ways to interpret that information alongside the data
that already exists in our source systems, and then
published that in a personalized and targeted way alongside timely and relevant content, we’d already have
Finding the Value in Big Data
It’s really disappointing that so much of the “big data”
debate is just marketing hype (much the same as where
cloud computing was back in 2009 and 2010). I’ve
actually grown to hate the term. For me, there is no “big
data”; there’s just data — always was and always will
be. I try to think in simple terms, and there are basically
three categories when it comes to data:
Ian Cohen on. . .
“Big Data” Marketing Hype
There aren’t that many businesses that need
these new big data capabilities to drive value.
In most cases, companies have more data
than they know what to do with and would be
better served making the most of what they
already have rather than looking for yet more.
Technology as a
We’re trying to change the behavior of people
around the use of and outcomes from
technology. Most business transformation is
about changing behavior and culture —
technology is just the enabler.
CIO Straight Talk
Thinking like a publisher. The way that publishers
connect with readers has changed radically in recent
years. Traditional publishing was a “tell” medium, but
that changed with the rise of citizen journalism and the
growth in social media in the mid- to late-2000s.
Collaborate, share, engage became the new verbs for
information and knowledge. Today, the challenge is for
businesses to start thinking like modern-day publishers
both inside the enterprise and with customers and
clients. Anyone can fulfill a transaction, handle a claim,
or whatever — that’s just the cost of entry — but if you
can offer genuine business insight, then your client is
more likely to stay loyal. We have recognized experts
across all our business sectors, yet we were relying on
traditional print and web publishing techniques to
engage with our clients, partners, and colleagues. Our
current focus is on finding the best ways to use our
content to deepen client relationships as well as informing and engaging our colleagues. And that hasn’t meant
huge investment in publishing technologies — we
simply make better use of our existing Microsoft suite
of products — but it has required us to think differently
about content, to think like a publisher.
something special. That would be enough for any of our
operating companies, divisions, or regions alone, but
what if we brought it all together? What if collaboration
was at the center of all this? Then the value would be
multiplied many times over. That is the very essence of
social enterprise — the “special sauce” that occurs
when clients, colleagues, and partners work together to
make the whole greater than the sum of its parts, when
that one nugget of information shared can make the
difference in closing a deal or delighting a customer.
Collaboration doesn’t just happen, though. It’s not like
throwing a switch. While we do use specific technologies like Salesforce Chatter and Microsoft Lync to
enable our “global conversations,” the key has been to
champion collaboration as a change activity in itself.