The CIO's New Hat

Sudha Nagaraj Bharadwaj, Journalist | 4/30/2014 | 50 comments

Sudha Nagaraj Bharadwaj
With the growing importance of enterprise data, big data, and the Internet of Things, the Indian CIO will be forced to wear the cap of the CDO as well. Though the Chief Digital Officer role is evolving as a separate responsibility in the US and other countries in the developed world, in India this is yet another acronym the CIO will have to add to his or her CV.

The digital market in India is predicted to double in size every two years and grow nine-fold between 2013 and 2020 -- from 326 exabytes to 2.8 zettabytes. What is driving the growth? There are multiple factors at work but one of the most significant is the continued consumer growth in Internet, smartphone, and social network use. Indian ISPs are aggressively pushing free and low-cost data plans to accelerate the mobile user installed base.

Another major factor is that the falling cost of technology for devices that create, capture, manage, protect, and store information is luring more users. The migration from analog to digital TV, with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) mandating a switchover by 2015, is contributing to the digital explosion. Add to these the growth of machine-to-machine communication, and information about information, and you get a high-definition picture of what is happening.

During the same period as the previous prediction, the global digital universe will grow from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion gigabytes, says "The Digital Universe of Opportunities," a research study by IDC and EMC. According to the study, while 60 percent of the data in the digital universe is at present residing in mature markets like the US, Germany, and Japan, by 2017 the percentage will flip and emerging markets including India, Brazil, China, Mexico, and Russia will account for the majority of data.

"China already accounts for 14 percent of the digital universe. Though US' share has declined as the other emerging markets have grown, it is still 26 per cent. India's share is also growing from 3 per cent in 2010 to 6 per cent in 2020," EMC India and SAARC President Rajesh Janey told the media, as reported in The Financial Express.

The report illustrates this in a dramatic manner: If the Indian digital media is represented by the memory in a stack of tablets, in 2013 it would have stretched 3 percent of the way to the Moon. By 2020, it would stretch 42 percent of the way from the Earth to the Moon.

So what would CIOs be expected to do? As organizations turn into data-driven and software-defined enterprises, CIOs will face an online world on digital steroids. The report recognizes that while the challenges of a digital universe are certainly technological, they are first and foremost organizational. It goes on to suggest three business imperatives:

  1. Create a C-level position in charge of developing digital business opportunities. This may mean creating a new position like Chief Digital Officer or having the CIO double up as CDO. The most important thing is that the new executive role will take charge of identifying and pursuing new revenue streams based on internal and/or external data and its analysis.

  2. Develop and continuously revise an executive-team understanding of the new digital landscape for your enterprise. Who are the new (and potential) digital competitors? How are you going to cooperate with others in your industry to anticipate and thwart digital disruption? What are the short and long-term steps you must take to ensure a smooth and timely digital transformation?

  3. Design and execute a plan for accelerated investments in digital enterprise technologies and skills. For this, reallocate resources across the business based on digital transformation priorities, invest in promising data collection and analysis areas, and identify the gaps in talent and skills required for success in the era of the Third Platform.

Whenever there is a seachange in technology or the way in which technology is harnessed in enterprises, the CEOs in India tend to charge the CIO to take on fresh responsibilities and execute the changes seamlessly. After being swamped with big data, most organizations have realized the secret lies in targeting highest value information.

It is now the CIO in his role as CDO who should identify the "target-rich." Just follow the IDC mantra: The data should be easy to access, be available real-time, have a large footprint, or hold transformative potential. Of course, it can have more than one of these attributes.

So, dear CIOs, it is time to plan a governance policy, select the right software tools, and acquire the right skills and talent to unleash predictive analysis, business intelligence, and real-time decision making -- wouldn't you say? That is exactly what a CDO is expected to do!

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 5   >   >>
Broadway   The CIO's New Hat   5/31/2014 9:43:24 PM
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
Phil, true. But it's tough to make good of a situation when that ugnut is not paying you and returning any calls or emails.
The_Phil   The CIO's New Hat   5/30/2014 8:05:07 PM
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
Ha "ugnuts". That's a great term. I might borrow it.

But good relationships CAN come from adverse situations. Always try to make the best of it & never burn bridges.
Gigi   The CIO's New Hat   5/30/2014 9:27:14 AM
Gigi
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
"I mean that it was founded in Britain, it's a British company. But it now has an American website as well that deals in dollars instead of pounds."

Soozy, thanks for the clarification.
Broadway   The CIO's New Hat   5/29/2014 9:50:06 PM
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
@The_Phil, I shouldn't complain. I've met some good, long-term clients through these kind of sites. I have also bumped into countless ugnuts who don't value the work, but you'd find them anywhere.
The_Phil   The CIO's New Hat   5/29/2014 8:50:56 PM
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
Gotta love technology! Leaves little room for laziness & complaints.
The_Phil   The CIO's New Hat   5/29/2014 8:49:39 PM
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
I guess it's about the law of averages. I've seen both scenarios. On more than a few occasions, I've seen the high & lowballs. Luckily I've been on the receiving end & not priced out of an opportunity.
Broadway   The CIO's New Hat   5/25/2014 9:46:00 PM
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
@soozyg, it's good to know the site is out there., even if it's the "best of the worst"! Whent it's time to chase new work, it's always easiest to have all that work in one spot.
soozyg   The CIO's New Hat   5/24/2014 5:27:49 PM
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
Gigi, I mean that it was founded in Britain, it's a British company. But it now has an American website as well that deals in dollars instead of pounds. So, when you register with them, they use your location to determine which site you will use. So, when you log in, it automatically gives you the British PPH and then a window pops up asking if you want the American site instead.
soozyg   The CIO's New Hat   5/24/2014 5:24:46 PM
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
Broadway, I hear ya. PPH, I've found, is basically the best of the worst lol I've dropped all the other sites.
Gigi   The CIO's New Hat   5/23/2014 4:48:05 AM
Gigi
Re: many challenges waiting ahead.
 "People Per Hour, a Britain-based site with an American outlet is better. I don't use any other one now."

Soozy, what you meant by this "Britain-based site with an American outlet"
Page 1 / 5   >   >>


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