Memo to Senior Staff: Wake Up and Smell the Value

By Steve Weissman posted 08-31-2011 13:19


In a relatively recent survey conducted by CIO for SAS, just 14% of responding IT and business leaders said their organizations are just starting to realize the value of the information at their disposal, and only 40% said their organizations realize the potential of their information but are struggling with how to make that information actionable.

(A white paper presenting the results is available here.)

And yet, the market for business software is expected to top $260 billion worldwide this year, and within it, information management software will be the fastest growing sector (at 10% annually) over the next four years. (This figures are according to Ovum, as reported in Information Age.)

Given this level of spending, it may be fair to wonder: just why the heck are organizations investing so much in something they don’t view as strategic?

My guess is that they do view it this way, only they may not know it yet. Chances are, the budgetary powers-that-be in many of these places are so busy putting out IT infrastructural fires that they haven’t noticed how many of their projects are driven by the need to improve information access, retrieval, and analysis. But at some point they will, and the survey percentages should shift accordingly.

Please don’t interpret this as a criticism of CIOs and their ilk, whom the economy has locked into figuring out how to do more with less. Instead, think of it as a call to action – for them, in the context of their responsibility to keep up with the times, and for you, in the context of your responsibility to work on your organization’s behalf.

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