Welcome to 2015 – the Year of the Chief Information Officer

cioBy this time next year, we’ll be throwing pens at the guy in the meeting who mentions Big Data. Most of us will be using specific terms for the type of business intelligence on the agenda, whether it’s customer insights, operations stats or resource forecasting. More importantly, we’ll be translating data inputs into decision-making intelligence in the form of predictive analytics or even prescriptive analytics to guide the company’s strategic direction.

Until then, “Big Data” will be the term for something we can’t quite get our heads around but is a number one priority. It’s a Big Deal, building the architectures and infrastructures to capture, store, search, curate, share and visualize the proliferating number of terabytes of data available to us. Some of it is real-time and unstructured, some of it isn’t valuable, and some of it is gold. All of it requires analysis.

It’s also a Big Opportunity for IT leaders to further evolve their role in the organization from Heads of Technology Expenditures to true Chief Information Officers, to cement the bond between business and IT operations.

Oh, Happy New Year by the way. It’s going to be a good one.

In the Silicon Valley, all the vendors are gearing up for a continued push on Big Data-related hardware, software and services. It’s estimated that this market grew 65 per cent last year and could grow as much as 75 per cent in 2015. You’ll feel the push from IBM, HP, Oracle and SAP, you’ll continue to follow the Hadoop story, and you’ll become a little more interested in companies like Teradata, Pallantir, Pivital and Splunk. Expect lots of M&A activity this year in the name of Big Data.

If you’re lucky enough to be the champion of this movement in your organization, you’ll struggle as an early adopter. Without proven best practices, without a wish list of solutions tailored specifically to your business issues and without some assurance of data security, you’ll have some tough procurement decisions to make. You’ll be out on a limb for a while; the only sense of comfort you’ll get is from the vendor.

But then, it’s go-time. Your opportunity to show the CEO and Board how analytics can move your shop forward. Capture the right data and you’ll see the competition more clearly. Curate the data sharply enough, and you’ll have specific value propositions to impart. Interpret the data soundly and you’ll have a clearer story to narrate.

Remember, in order to be the CIO, you have to be the CIO.

I’m interested: what’s your plan this year? Give me your best case scenario on what Big Data and analytics will do for you.


About johnjblair

John J. Blair is the President and CEO of Blair Technology Solutions responsible for technology, innovation, and providing customized IT strategies to strengthen operations for enterprises across various industry verticals. His reputation is renowned as a results-driven leader, whose effective team-building skills and strategic development expertise have helped his clients achieve IT business success with cost-effective solutions. With almost 35 years in the IT industry, John has established a highly skilled team with expertise in providing personalized and customized IT solutions to a variety enterprises across Canada. Under his tutelage, his company is committed to customer service excellence, providing IT professional technicians to support the ongoing growth and needs of any IT department. Always on the leading edge of emerging technologies, John entered into the Managed Services field early and developed a Managed Services division under the Blair brand. John holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and has many industry certifications.
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