Take the Big Data Pregnancy Test

photo credit: Adam Schilling via photopin cc

photo credit: Adam Schilling via photopin cc

Today, leading Big Data companies such as Walmart can for instance access every receipt issued since 1999. This allows Walmart detailed insights into customer behaviour and leads to adapted positioning for goods in one example: The company now positions beer next to baby nappies since fathers shopping for nappies are more likely to drink at home than go to the pub.

One famous example of how insightful data can be, was the case of a 16 year old girl shopping at Walmart. She was sent coupons for baby related articles, e.g. nappies and baby nutrition, since her shopping behaviour indicated that she was pregnant. The father angrily called the store and was complaining that his daughter was sent these vouchers since she is just 16 and it would be highly unlikely that she was pregnant. Two weeks later, the father rang the store again and apologized since his daughter told him that she was actually pregnant. Continue reading

Game of CIOs

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin cc

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin cc

As you might have noticed, the first episode of Game of Throne’s new season was released by HBO. You have probably been as excited as million of other fans and have eagerly awaited the start.

HBO was probably excited as well but ruined the fun for some of its users. HBO GO, the streaming platform, crashed during the release and none of its users where able to watch their long anticipated show. Continue reading

12 Steps to an Effective IT Strategy – Defining your Roadmap and Multi-Year Plan

photo credit: Canned Muffins via photopin cc

photo credit: Canned Muffins via photopin cc

In the final stage of the process you should be looking at defining your roadmap and multi-year plan. i.e.  how you plan to move forward with your IT strategy in the future. This blog completes the steps recommended for an effective IT strategy.

With an idea of the target vision for the IT systems and services the final step to a comprehensive strategy is to define the steps and to implement it.  It is not just sufficient to say what changes will be made but also to define how the services will evolve to improve costs, provide a costs benefit against business targets and how service levels will be adjusted. Ideally at each step behaviour changes in the organisation and changes to process flows will be needed too.

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12 Steps to an Effective IT Strategy – Defining your Target IT Landscape

photo credit: hans s via photopin cc

photo credit: hans s via photopin cc

This blog post explores the second of three stages of my twelve step process towards an effective IT strategy. At this stage we look at defining the target IT landscape you would ideally like to achieve with your strategy.

At the heart of any strategy is the target landscape of systems and services that needs to be built in order to achieve the business goals.  It is absolutely critical that this landscape is built not on the whims of individual departments and characters (including the CIO) but in a more holistic way aligned to the business objectives and also in a way to resolve specific issues.  The old saying “if it aint broke don’t fix it” goes a long way in this stage.

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12 Steps to an Effective IT Strategy – Understand Where You Are

photo credit: alisdair via photopin cc

photo credit: alisdair via photopin cc

This blog post underlines in importance of what I see as the first of three stages in completing an effective IT strategy – understanding where you are. Keep checking back for the second and third steps in the process.

Some consultants will call this “as now” or “current state” analysis. Whatever you call it, the critical point is that you must understand where you are and what you have before you can write any strategy to change it. Firms have all sorts of inventories but rarely have a good understanding of the systems and services they have, and more importantly how effective they are in terms of meeting business goals.

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