Big data ROI in 2016: Put up, or shut up [IT vendors to “become” consumer-centric?]

Big data ROI in 2016: Put up, or shut up by David Weldon.

From the post:

When it comes to data analytics investments, this is the year to put up, or shut up.

That is the take of analysts at Forrester Research, who collectively expect organizations to take a hard look at their data analytics investments so far, and see some very real returns on those investments. If strong ROI can’t be shown, some data initiatives may see the plug pulled on those projects.

These sober warnings emerge from Forrester’s top business trends forecast for 2016. Rather than a single study or survey on top trends, the Forrester forecast combines the results of 35 separate studies. Carrie Johnson, senior vice president of research at Forrester, discussed the highlights with Information Management, including the growing impatience at many organizations that big data produce big results, and where organizations truly are on the digital transformation journey.

“I think one of the key surprises is that folks in the industry assume that everyone is farther along than they are,” Johnson explains. “Whether it’s with digital transformation, or a transformation to become a customer-obsessed firm, there are very few companies pulling off those initiatives at a wholesale level very well. Worse, many companies in the year ahead will continue to flail a bit with one-off projects and bold-on strategies, versus true differentiation through transformation.”

Asked why this misconception exists, Johnson notes that “Vendors do tend to paint a rosier picture of adoption in general because it behooves them. Also, every leader in an organization sees their problems, and then sees an article or sees the use of an app by a competitor and thinks, ‘my gosh, these companies are so far ahead of where we are.’ The reality may be that that app may have been an experiment by a really savvy team in the organization, but it’s not necessarily representative of a larger commitment by the organization, both financially and through resources.”

It’s not the first time you have heard data ROI discussed on this blog but when Forrester Research says it, it sounds more important. Moreover, their analysis is the result of thirty-five separate studies.

Empirical verification (the studies) are good to have but you don’t have to have an MBA to realize businesses that make decisions on some basis other than ROI, aren’t businesses very long. Or, at least not profitable businesses.

David’s conclusion makes it clear that your ROI is your responsibility:

The good news: “We believe that this is the year that IT leaders — and CIOs in particular … embrace a new way of investing in and running technology that is customer-centric….”

If lack of clarity and a defined ROI for IT is a problem at your business, well, it’s your money.

Comments are closed.