By Christopher O'Malley
What can make the game of IT so challenging is finding the right balance between strategic and tactical investments. CIOs must decide on the best mix of initiatives that hold both compelling long-term ROI potential, as well as, those that provide tactical service improvements for supporting existing demands. In the real world, budget pressures often have a way of pre-determining this balance to the tactical extreme. “The year dedicated to cutting costs while meeting ongoing demands” seems to have a never-ending run at the IT box office. Additionally, IT aspirations have been burdened by the conventional wisdom that high-risk/high-return long-term initiatives can be harmful to ones career. As the joke goes, “Show me a CIO that took a strategic risk and I’ll show you a CIO that updated his LinkedIn profile.”
For all these reasons, CIOs that fight for the strategic side of the equation and persevere to win have a huge impact on an organization’s competitive advantage. Randy Mott of GM and Rob Carter of FedEx are great examples of CIOs that have developed a repeatable formula for successfully leading IT as a partner with the business on transformational efforts while still maintaining extraordinary, day-to-day operational effectiveness.
On the road to building a winning approach, CIOs must hold two-dimensional responsibilities for gaining a “sense” for how IT can be leveraged to gain competitive advantage while staying true to the “sensibility” of what is required to sustain competitiveness. Every year there is a new set of “sense and sensibility” opportunities presented to CIOs for which they must make a go/no go/wait decision. Along the way, CIO must collect wins that pave the road for more ambitious efforts in the future. Once in a very long while, the balance in these decisions is made easier by an innovation that solves both critical tactical challenges, as well as, transforms the capabilities of IT for supporting future business demands. Virtualization was a perfect example of both solving the cost of server sprawl while vastly improving IT’s agility in responding to changing business demands. Similarly, there are new innovations coming into the market that solve new challenges that present CIOs great opportunities to pursue.
A challenge on the top of many CIOs list today is that business leaders have an insatiable appetite for gaining market insight to improve their decision making while, at the same time, IT is becoming overwhelmed with data volume demands and velocity requirements. The impact of the challenge can be best witnessed in Fortune 1000 companies that often times have legacy ETL processes that are missing daily service level agreements for refreshing data-marts. Meanwhile, users are pressing IT aggressively for even greater sources and varieties of data with real time availability. The “sense” for Big Data cannot be achieved without the “sensibility” of getting current data management challenges, not just under control, but transformed to support a radically changing set of future data requirements.
Similar to the disruption created by VMware, VelociData is an amazing innovation that solves this critical business challenge. In less than a single day, VelociData can demonstrate >100X improvement in ETL process performance. As an illustration, VelociData recently transformed an existing 16-hour ETL process at a Fortune 500 customer into one that now completes in just 45 seconds! VelociData didn’t just solve a tactical problem, but, in fact, shattered conventional wisdom for what is possible. Imagine the creative energy gained by a company when actionable insight can be gained >1000X faster than anyone thought possible.
Sometimes the “sensibility” of solving burning issues can be a catalyst for a “sense” of big ideas to come. VelociData offers just such an opportunity.