Over the first (and last) 20 years of my primarily marketing-related career, I have seen a slow but steady convergence—more along the lines of a merging—of the marketing and IT functions. Of course not all of it has been smooth sailing, as illustrated by an article titled CIOs and CMOs: Feuding in the C-Suite in CIO magazine’s December issue. But at the same time the transition has been a necessary one in many respects, and in my view the vast majority of organizations are more responsive, more agile, and more profitable as a result.
Innovation versus Renovation in Product Development
Getting product development right is often a rare combination of innovation, creative process, critical thinking, market awareness, and discipline. Product development addressing new needs and markets is best done in an evolutionary manner—in incremental steps that work with proven technologies. If done right, product innovation can be very rewarding but always includes some measure of risk. Building on proven products and technologies can help mitigate some of that risk.
It seems like everywhere I turn these days I’m seeing something new about the need for big data and the associated analytics that necessarily goes along with it. Big data refers to the collection of massive amounts of data and the extraction of actionable information from that data, often in real time. Although big data has been around from a technology standpoint for at least 10 years (even longer if you count its predecessors, business intelligence and data warehousing), its time has certainly come. World markets are evolving and changing so rapidly that big data analytics has moved from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.”