Time Inc. Hires A ‘Chief Data Officer’

Ostia blog cdo

This is a huge nod to something people have not accepted…..until now.

For many years we have been told time and time again that the applications are the most valuable IT asset that organisations which invest in IT have available. If this or that application wasn’t there, the organisation simply couldn’t run.

The Way Things Operated

Traditionally, organisations sent their systems analysts out to work out how IT could fix things. This lead to a prolonged naval gazing exercise where people suggested that technically we could do this and this. Eventually the user (the poor target) was shown something and was told they could have it in 2 years. By the time 2 years has passed, many people had moved on, the requirement had changed and what was delivered rarely reflected what they originally wanted anyway.

Response Times

Along came Java and suddenly anything was possible. It was possible to deliver applications in weeks instead of months. In fairness the two year applications didn’t fall over if you looked at them the wrong way but the ‘new’ applications where a lot sexier and easier to use.

This is also when people started expecting delivery times instead of response times…..many of today’s millennials would gag at the thought that us legacy old folk actually expected a response in less than a second or we complained. As an IT person of that generation I got more complaints about response times and yet the millennials today are willing to wait….and wait…and wait.

Data is King

The bottom line is that the application is not the king here, and never was, it is the data. As the new Times CDO said, “I want to reach the right people with relevant messages that resonate. That’s what big data does.”

Most of the applications we see today will not exist in 5 or 10 years' time, but the data will.

When your business has 1Million in a bank account, do you care whether it is shown on mobile or on the web…..the key thing is that it is recorded as yours.

Many banks have this recorded in the equivalent of a filing cabinet with hand written notes. The key now is to ensure that this data is available 24/7 in the best way possible, and also in the best way possible tomorrow….whatever that might be.

Delivering data that can then be analysed with meaningful insights is what this man must produce in his new position and I wish him the best of luck, he faces a lot of obstacles…….if you are a CDO reading this are you finding many speed bumps?

This Blog relates to the following article written by JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG in the Wall Street Journal on the appointment of J.T. Kostman as CDO for Time Inc.  - http://ow.ly/Qk4pZ


Written by : John Power