Tag Archives: Collaboration

How Is The CIO Role Starting To Change?

When you talk to CIOs today, you strongly get the feeling that that the CIO role is about to change. One CIO said to me that the CIO is the midst of “a sea state change”. Recently, I got to talk with a half a dozen CIOs on what is most important to their role and how they see the role as a whole changing over the next few years. Their answers were thought provoking and worthy of broader discussion.

business alignmentCIOs need to be skilled at business alignment

CIOs say it is becoming less and less common for the CIO to come up through the technical ranks. One CIO said it used to common for one to become a CIO after being a CTO but this has changed. More and more business people are becoming CIOs. The CIO role today is “more about understanding the business than to understanding technology. It is more about business alignment than technology alignment”. This need for better business alignment led one CIO to say that consulting is a great starting point for a future IT leader. Consulting provides a future IT leader with the following: 1) vertical expertise; 2) technical expertise; and 3) systems integration expertise. Another CIO suggested that the CIO role sometimes is being used these days as a rotational position for a future business leader. “It provides these leaders with technical skills that they will need in their career.” Regardless, it is increasingly clear that business expertise versus technical expertise is much more important.

How will the CIO role change?

changeCIOs, in general, believe that their role will change in the next five years. One CIO insisted that CIOs are going to continue to be incredibly important to their enterprises. However, he said that CIOs have the opportunity to create analytics that guide the business in finding value. For CIOs to do this, they need to connect the dots between transactional systems, BI, and the planning systems. They need to convert data into action. This means they need to enable the business to be proactive and cut the time it takes for them to execute. CIOs need in his view to enable their enterprises to generate differentiated value than competitors.

Another CIO sees the CIOs becoming the orchestrator vs. the builder of business services. This CIO said that “building stuff is now really table stakes”. Cloud and loosely oriented partnerships is bringing vendor management to the forefront. Agreeing with this point of view, a third CIO says that she sees CIOs moving from an IT role into a business role. She went onto say that “CIOs need to understand the business better and be able to partner better with the business. They need to understand the role for IT better and this includes understanding their firm’s business models better”.

A final CIO suggests something even more radical.  He believes that the CIO role will disappear altogether or morph into something new. This CIO claims CIOs have the opportunity to become the chief digital officer or the COO. After all, the CIO is about implementing business processes.

clean dataFor more technical CIOs, this CIO sees them reverting into CTOs but he worries at the same time about the importance of hardware and platform issues with the increasing importance of cloud—this type of role is  going to become less and less relevant. This same CIO says that, in passing, CIOs screwed up a golden opportunity 10 years ago. At this time, CIOs one by one clawed their way to the table and separated themselves from the CFO. However, once they were at the table, they did not change their game. They continued to talk bits and bytes versus business issues. And one by one, they are being returned to the CFO to manage.

Parting Thoughts

So change is inevitable. CIOs need to change their game or be changed by external forces. So let’s start the debate right now. How do you see the CIO role changing? Express your opinion. Let’s see where you and the above CIOs agree and more importantly where you differ?

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Posted in Business/IT Collaboration, CIO | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Agile Data Integration Maximizes Business Value In The Era Of Big Data

Adopting Agile may require a cultural shift and in the beginning can be disruptive to an organization.  However, as I mentioned in Part 1 of this blog series, Agile Data Integration holds the promise to increase chances of success, deliver projects faster, and reduce defects.  Applying Lean principles within your organization can help ease the transition to Agile Data IntegrationLean is a set of principles first explored in the context of data integration by John Schmidt and David Lyle in their book on Lean Integration.  First and foremost Lean recommends an organization focus on eliminating waste and optimizing the data integration process from the customers’ perspective.  Agile Data Integration maximizes the business value of projects (e.g. Agile BI, Data Warehousing, Big Data Analytics, Data Migration, etc.) because you can get it right the first time by delivering exactly what the business needs when they need it.  Break big projects into smaller more manageable deliverables so that you can incrementally deliver value to the business.  Agile Data Integration also recommends the following: (more…)

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Does Business NEED To Be Involved?

Informatica 9 This should be a rhetorical question since the obvious answer is YES, but if an alien from another planet were to observe the behavior of many organizations in regards to business involvement in data quality, the conclusion would be NO.  Here are the questions the alien might ask:

  1. Who makes staff hiring/firing decisions?  Line management or HR?
  2. Who makes investment decisions? Line management or Finance?
  3. Who is responsible for data decisions?  Line management or IT?

The alien observer would quickly determine that Line Management is in charge of managing staff assets and financial assets, but in most organizations it would appear that IT is responsible for managing information assets.  Why is this?  Has the business abdicated responsibility for information or has IT wrestled it away from line management in some sort of power grab? (more…)

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Business/IT Collaboration, CIO, Data Integration, Enterprise Data Management, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Integration Competency Centers, Operational Efficiency | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

BPM for MDM – Great for Inbound, But Not So Much for Outbound?

The recent blog post from Forrester Research analysts Clay Richardson and Rob Karel posed an excellent question around synergies between Business Process Management (BPM) and Master Data Management (MDM). Siperian customers have been at the forefront of driving these synergistic requirements that have made the Siperian MDM Hub uniquely suited for bringing together BPM tools such as Lombardi with MDM to enable data governance.

Together with the excellent points made by Clay and Rob, one of the trends we have seen is that most of the integration of MDM and BPM has been focused on the inbound – the creation of master data. But in the outbound – synchronizing master data (from the MDM hub) with downstream systems – BPM has been less leveraged or involved.

Inbound: While an MDM hub automates the merging of a large volume of duplicates, exceptions need to be handled by the data steward in "collaboration" with the data owner/ business user. Additionally, business users are starting to interact with Hub data directly as a “system of entry”, through interfaces like Siperian’s Business Data Director. Both of these inbound scenarios require a “chain of approval” and potentially sophisticated rules for process flow. A BPM tool such as Lombardi integrated with Siperian and leveraging the Hub’s ability to store states (transitional states of records prior to being finally committed to the hub). See a previous blog post The Art of MDM Workflow for more information.

Outbound: Downstream systems that accept the data from the MDM Hub can automatically receive updates through data synchronization. Once the master data is created or updated in the MDM Hub, it can place records onto message queues for EAI style distribution to systems such as CRM/ ERP, allowing those applications to have up-to-date accurate master data. Alternatively, periodic batch exports and updates using ETL can also accomplish this albeit in a non-real time manner. Typically, since there is no human interaction or complex process flow, BPM does not enter into the equation for such processing.

In summary, so far we have seen great use cases for using BPM inbound, not so much on the outbound side. What have been your experiences and do you have situations where you have applied BPM on the outbound?

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Posted in Data Governance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Administrators are from Mars; Analysts are from Venus

Just as they say success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, it can also be said that the success of a data integration project is 10% technology and 90% chemistry. And when I say chemistry, I’m not talking about hydrocarbons and nitrates, but the chemistry of people.

The success of any complex data integration depends on how the people that make things happen – the teams of administrators, analysts, managers, end-users, and business partners – can collaborate in establishing the business case, setting requirements, selecting technology, and putting all the pieces together.

However, two of the key players in data integration – analysts and administrators – don’t necessarily see eye to eye, and this is costing enterprises in terms of staff resources and quality. (more…)

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Customers, Data Integration, Data Services, Data Warehousing, Enterprise Data Management, Integration Competency Centers | Tagged , , | 1 Comment