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The role of the CIO must constantly metamorphose with new technologies and new demands. You may still deploy software and hardware, but that’s no longer the bulk of your position. Instead, systems management and optimization are just the basics.

Today’s CIOs increasingly take their place in strategy initiatives alongside the rest of the c-suite. They’re responsible for managing the end-customer experience, for leveraging analytics, and for assisting with innovations in other departments.

These 8 hacks will help you prep for these changes and get ahead.

Develop a Big Data as a Service Model

The SaaS model has brought countless benefits to software products in every industry. Smoother paths to scalability and more regularity in revenue streams are just a couple of the reasons why the SaaS model has exploded. For the last couple of years, analytics service providers have found ways to repackage their services using this model as well.

Big Data as a Service (dare we call this BaDaaS?) is highly desirable for customers, who can consume data analytics in timely, user-friendly chunks. BaDaaS is a variable model that delivers software, data access, and/or services by a team of data scientists. You can bring this model to your organization by using it as a framework for interacting with multiple departments and c-suite execs. Understand what services or information they regularly need, come up with a delivery schedule, and follow through.

Become the Chief Data Officer

Whether you hire a Chief Data Officer, expand an existing employee’s responsibilities, or fill this role yourself, the fact is that you’re in charge of data. It’s time to get more involved with how your organization makes use of data.

Combine systems and resources to provide insights that go beyond historical reporting. Create more powerful management dashboards that help CEOs visualize not only KPIs but future projections and how to adapt. Make it your job to ensure the quality of all organizational data and to help implement its use.

Protect Data Scientists’ Man Hours

Anyone in charge of employing highly skilled people like data scientists is also tasked with how best to use their time. Data scientists can be a huge asset when their efforts are properly guided or a massive cost if they’re required to spend too much time on manual, repetitive data tasks.

Find tools that can automate some of these tasks, or ask your data scientists to report back to you with automation ideas and tools. The design, development, and deployment of a data warehouse can all be automated to more quickly make use of IoT data. Employing such methods will free up time for innovative, problem-solving tasks that really impact the bottom line (and make it clear to the CFO why this team is worth their pay).

Cut Down on Unnecessary Systems

It’s not the most fun job, but pruning dead weight systems shows initiative and a sensitivity towards ROI. Over time, various tools and technologies can add up.

  • Are these systems still being used?
  • Is there any overlap?
  • Have newer tools made old ones unnecessary?

By setting up annual evaluations, you can not only cutback on software subscription costs but also streamline processes, and this results in time savings.

IT managers can easily get overwhelmed with managing multiple systems, so much so that they may struggle to identify new opportunities. Not only is it important to evaluate new IT investments, but you have to revisit whether previous systems are still playing a key role in business decisions (without simply adding to the complexities). Deploying a Decision Engineering approach can help structure a more efficient and impactful technology stack.

Improve Data Security

The wide adoption of cloud based technology has turned businesses into nearly borderless entities. This brings up a whole host of data security and privacy concerns. The paradox is that while the cloud can cause security issues, data is actually the most secure in the cloud.

With departments likely to move their own resources into the cloud without involving IT, there can be increased security concerns as companies are unable to protect themselves across departments.

Plus, security compliance varies across regions, making the situation even more complex. In any case, organization wide data security measures are an absolute must, and keeping pace with activities across departments, regions, and others changes will solidify your stance as a true problem-solver.

Integrate Cloud Based Products

Are your cloud based products integrated to the best of their abilities? Likely not. But for cloud based products to be efficient, they must integrate with existing systems and also be compatible with future systems that your organization intends to introduce.

Cloud technology has the ability to synergize processes across roles and regions, allowing the entire organization to operate more holistically. The benefits of getting it right really can’t be overstated, yet so many companies don’t block out the time. Make it your job to look over integrations with cloud based products, and the benefits will be widespread.

Get Cozy with the Marketing Team

IT teams are increasingly being asked to make sense of messy marketing data that they previously didn’t touch. Meanwhile, marketing managers and CMOs are becoming more and more familiar with data technologies and terminologies in an effort to accelerate growth and inform various initiates.

These changes have caused more collaboration between marketing and IT than ever before, especially in highly digital companies. IT is no longer just a resource marketers turn to for software or hardware problems, but for forward-thinking insight.

An improved IT infrastructure that can capture and analyze marketing related data (everything from CRM to social) will help you proactively collaborate with marketers within your organization.

Adapt or Die

It’s harsh but true. Relying on legacy technologies to propel your company into the future simply won’t work. You need to keep your eye on past systems, current initiatives, and ways to improve them organization-wide.

Of course, don’t jump into every new technology that comes your way. The point is to streamline, not merely update.

Scan the market for new solutions and tools that will support your greater initiatives, and you’re well on your way to being a next gen CIO.

Authored by Titir Pal, Vice President at Absolutdata