The cloud, rogue IT spending, the consumerization of IT and outsourcing are just a handful of the many competing interests that threaten the viability of the corporate IT department as we know it.
But data analytics can help an IT organization prioritize where it should place its focus to strengthen the company’s growth and reassert its value to the enterprise, as Rob Enderle points out in an article for CIO.com.
For its part, EMC is using analytics in a number of different ways. The technology company monitors its customers closely to identify which processes and communications approaches work well for its customers and those that don’t and then act on those issues.
EMC also uses analytics to identify which customers are most loyal and most valuable. These insights have helped the company determine which customers it should strive to retain as well as those customers that aren’t worth the trouble to keep.
An IT organization can take a similar approach to understanding and acting on the needs, interests, and behaviors of end users, Enderle notes.
Just as each company has valuable insights about its customers that no other company has – including their transactional histories, channel behaviors, sentiments about its products and processes – corporate IT organizations have unique information about their end users that third-party vendors aren’t privy to.
This information can provide the IT organization with valuable insights about end users, business units, and corporate functions (marketing, finance) that it can act on – thus using predictive analytics as a means to sense and respond to the needs of different parts of the enterprise.
For instance, information that’s gleaned from workgroups, employee surveys, and other exchanges may reveal that a high percentage of salespeople are interested in using mobile-optimized sales tools that can enable them to engage customers and prospects more effectively during site visits as well as other sales management tools that can increase their productivity while they’re on the road.
IT can draw on this information and evaluate current sales platforms that are already in place to offer recommendations to sales leaders before the sales organization takes action on its own – and possibly outside the purview of the IT organization.
Meanwhile, big data analytics can help the IT organization better identify and get to the root causes of low adoption of certain applications that have been deployed for specific business units or across the enterprise.
For example, let’s say an executive champion for a large national retailer decides that it would be useful for the company to deploy a social media platform to improve internal communication between employees. Once the platform has been rolled out and is in use for a few months, IT is able to determine that usage is particularly low, especially among branch offices.
Using analytics, the IT department is able to determine that employees in remote locations are encountering difficulty logging into a VPN that’s needed to access the social media platform.
By acting on the access issues and communicating the actions that have been taken to address the problem, the IT organization is able to help strengthen adoption of the social media platform and further demonstrate its value to the enterprise.