CIOs and the Big Data Challenge

catThe trend is clear: The CIO’s IT budget is getting smaller and the CMO’s IT budget is getting larger. As a result, the CIO’s role is diminishing and the CMO’s role is expanding. From a business perspective, the shift feels inevitable. Despite talk about transforming corporate IT organizations from cost centers into profit centers, the role of the CIO has remained largely administrative.

In their hearts, most CIOs know the score. They’ve won their battle to earn “a seat at the table,” but the table has gotten smaller. The main challenges ahead of them are technical, not strategic. Their key areas of focus today are mobility, cloud, and security. They are aware of big data, but it’s just not a survival issue for them.

That doesn’t mean that CIOs don’t care, it just means that most of them don’t have the bandwidth to deal with the challenges of big data. The CIOs I interviewed in my newest report do not constitute a representative sample of the CIO community. My sources tend to be people who are keenly and genuinely interested in the convergence of big data, statistical analysis, behavioral science, and marketing. That makes them outliers. I love interviewing them, but I don’t believe they speak for the majority of CIOs.

That said, I think the new report will be valuable to anyone who is considering making a move from IT into marketing. The marketing team will welcome people with technical chops who also understand how business works.

I honestly don’t see the shift of dollars as a “win-lose” or “zero-sum” game. It’s all for the good. Big data is rapidly becoming the life blood of marketing, and marketing drives revenue. As Ben Bradley said, “Follow the money.”

Download The Changing Role of the CIO for free.

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