No longer is it the role of IT to bring in the latest and greatest technology in the most cost effective way. IT management and the role of IT has started to become “Strategy-Oriented, Collaborative and more business Aware.” (Morgan, Jacob Inc. Aug 29, 2017) IT used to be a group of tech enthusiasts who kept the servers running in a basement data center, out of sight from the rest of the business. Today the role of IT has expended into every single business unit in the company. The IT management team is involved in almost all company projects and help make integral decisions on what new technologies to bring in and offer support to the business units on how to use existing data. Social Media has now become a business need versus a business want. Many IT departments have dedicated employees just to handle the day-to-day social media needs of each business unit. IT is becoming globally aware. IT employees have to keep an eye on growing trends and technology is constantly changing. Large on premise data centers are slowly being outsources to cloud companies such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. Everyone in IT now shares the responsibility of keeping data and IP secure to reduce the threat of being hacked.
This November the app Strava wanted to share its data it had collected from users using the app to log fitness information such as runs and bike rides. Within roughly two months observers had noticed that the app had perhaps revealed private U.S. military base locations and personnel based on the data collected and now publicly shared. Of course, this was not the fitness apps intention, as it was simply made to help people track their personal performance, but all of this personal data collection comes at a cost. This is not the first time data has been revealed and unintentionally had unintended negative consequences and will probably not be the last. With people downloading apps everyday and not fully understanding all of the data they are collecting about them there will always be consequences of some sort.
How much data are you willing to give up about yourself and your daily life ? Where do you draw your privacy line ?
Harvard Business Review published an article called How to Integrate Data and Analytics into Every Part of Your Organization. To have a successful D&A function, the article states “D&A should be the pulse of the organization, incorporated into all key decisions across sales, marketing, supply chain, customer experience, and other core functions.” This is like the “IT “Is” the Business” approach that we read about in The Built-to-Purpose IT Organization. The “IT “Is” the Business” approach to D&A will be effective only if the entire organization supports the D&A strategy.
I think that building a strategy about how D&A will be used to improve the organization and getting top leadership on board with that strategy is an effective way to implement D&A in an organization. How to Integrate Data and Analytics into Every Part of Your Organization says that “developing a strategy across the entire enterprise that includes a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish” is the best way to build effective D&A capabilities. Communicating this strategy to top leadership is the best way to get the entire organization on board with the message. Once top leadership adopts a strategy, the rest of the organization will follow.
Companies can optimize business outcomes by incorporating D&A with teams of data and software engineers who are skilled in the use of big data. Companies should measure the ROI of incorporating a D&A function in their organization and implement one if it is feasible. What types of companies can benefit from the implementation of a D&A function? How accurately can the ROI of a D&A function be measured?