Is There A Resurgence For The CIO Role?

For years, the CIO role looked like it had been moving toward “chief infrastructure officer,” with many executives feeling like the transformative part of their job had been carved out and handed to chief digital officers. We have always been dubious that CDOs without deep technology expertise could meet the big expectations of their boards for technology. Today, we are seeing a resurgence in the CIO role due to the increasing importance of emerging technology and the tacit admission by boards that CIOs have the right skills to deliver. We ran across this article from The Wall Street Journal that confirms our hypothesis; it shows that CIOs reporting to the executive committee are up to two-thirds of them, from just over half a few years ago. Salaries are up, too. The good news is we have a number of reports planned in 2019 on technology-driven innovation and how to go beyond agility to help CIOs meet their challenges.

US Army Highlights Potential Of AR/VR/XR For Employees

Microsoft created a version of its HoloLens headsets for the US military, which CNBC got to demo and then write about this week. The augmented reality (AR) headset places maps and real-time location data for the wearer and for other soldiers in their unit, providing information about which direction they are pointing their weapon. The Army’s new headsets exemplify the potential that augmented, virtual (VR), and mixed reality have for employee use cases. In fact, this where most of the action is now: providing immersive training for employees, giving them heads-up displays with access to detailed product information, and helping them empathize with colleagues and customers. Check out our blog post on employee use cases for AR, VR, and extended reality (XR) for more details on how to integrate these technologies for your workers.

Apple Makes Marketing Harder

As P&G leader Marc Pritchard calls for a massive overhaul of the digital media supply chain, Apple’s ITP tactic rather quietly gets a lot of the job done. Intelligent Tracking Protection is the butterfly wing of tracker blocking that renders chaos for anyone involved in online advertising, attribution, web analytics, testing, and personalization. If you care about understanding and digitally engaging customers, ITP affects you. Pro-privacy Apple introduced ITP in 2017 to limit cross-screen tracking by degrading third-party cookies after 30 days. But its recent update (2.1) purges most first-party cookies after seven days and blocks all third-party cookies by default, meaning that, every seven days, a customer you’ve already digitally interacted with is unrecognizable. Firefox is doing some of this, and Google will likely follow suit. If your company has a nonauthenticated site that uses past behaviors and preferences to personalize, you will not have the historical data needed to do so. What else? Web analytics: inaccurate. Attribution: harder. Media spend: inefficient. Customer experiences: inconsistent. What to do? Audit your site traffic’s source and frequency immediately, and don’t bet on vendors who offer workarounds. They’re what got us here in the first place. Check out our Forbes blog for more.

EY Is Spending $1 BILLION On Technology To Earn Your Business

EY Chairman-Elect Carmine Di Sibio told a group of analysts last week that the 270,000-employee service provider spent $1 billion on technology last year. Moving forward, they will continue that trend, as well as spend an incremental $500 million on emerging technology. EY will certainly spend this money on core technology to improve their own service capability in audit, tax, M&A, and advisory. But we believe they will also spend this money building core technology platforms to benefit you. For example, they are investing in information assets and software tools to improve your ability to assess supply chain risk and in using Stratio’s software, a new business process management platform with self-tuning based on analytics and AI built in, and in blockchain built into smart contracts. The point is that EY and other service providers are incorporating more software and data in their delivery and managed services. Make sure you know how they are pricing and supporting those technical platforms and capabilities.

Google Dramatically Embraces Your Multicloud Reality

At this week’s Google Next conference in San Francisco, under the leadership of its new CEO, Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud announced significant enhancements focused on driving up enterprise engagement. A key highlight of its news was Anthos, Google’s hybrid cloud container platform, which not only runs as a service in GCP and on-prem but also on competitive public clouds, including AWS, Azure, and VMware Cloud. It also announced significant data analytics multicloud integrations, making it easier, faster, and more secure to aggregate data from across the clouds and multiple SaaS, on-premises applications, and IoT devices. Its AI Platform supports a massive volume of machine learning, open algorithms, processor types, and reporting. And enterprises can protect this architecture with private security from Cisco, F5, and many others of your choice.

Considering Investing In A Customer Data Platform?

The concept of customer data platforms (CDPs) originated about three years ago in response to the challenges of collecting and activating data for marketing, and since then a broad range of vendors offering a variety of disparate solutions claimed the label and have been marketing themselves as such. At their core, CDPs promise to unify corporate and customer data and make it accessible to marketers for analytics and campaigns. But Forrester believes that standalone CDPs aren’t currently equipped to solve this problem for enterprise B2C marketers. As Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Joe Stanhope predicted in that research, several of the enterprise marketing cloud vendors — Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce — previewed offerings literally within hours of one another in late March to address marketers’ data challenges and to in fact go much further than traditional CDPs. And we anticipate that SAP will join the CDP party soon. (Note that IBM just announced divestiture of its martech to Centerbridge Partners, so its entry is up in the air.) These marketing cloud vendors will address the problem in their own way — ideally in an integrated tech stack that makes it seamless for enterprise firms. For more analysis on these new entrants, see Joe’s blog, Marketing Cloud Vendors Pick Up Where CDPs Left Off.