What does it take to become a top-performing CIO in a midsize enterprise? A new Gartner report, “2018 CIO Agenda: CIOs in Midsize Enterprises Must Exploit AI and Data Monetization to Grow Their Business” offers advice, and it can be summed up quickly: Focus on AI and monetizing your enterprise’s data. The report is based on interviews with 1,624 CIOs and IT executives from midsize enterprises around the world, in order to identify their priorities, opportunities and threats that they face. It uncovered the growing importance of AI and data monetization to midsize enterprises.
When it comes to use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in midsize enterprises, here’s what the report found: “Overall, AI adoption in the midmarket is low, but top-performing MSE [midsize enterprise] CIOs are actively finding ways to accelerate their business success with AI — particularly in market-facing functions.”
As to what AI is used for by top-performing MSE CIOs, the report says that the most common is for fraud analysis on transactional data, used by 38 percent of them. Next was marketing department customer segmentation with 33 percent, then sentiment analysis or other opinion-mining analysis, used by 31%. After that, most popular was call center virtual customer assistants, with 25 percent. No other AI usage was used 25 percent or more of top-performing MSE CIOs.
Gartner has a variety of recommendations for MSE CIOs for AI use. Its most important one is this: “Demand clear proof from vendors and business partners of the viability of, and solid reason for, an AI investment. Trust none of the myths and hype around AI.” It also recommends that MSE CIOs, “Create a small virtual team or center of expertise in AI technologies, made up of business and IT resources, to experiment with, learn, promulgate, apply and continuously evolve internal IT roadmaps.”
Monetizing information assets
When it comes to data monetization, the report says that “MSEs that can monetize their information assets outperform their rivals by using information to reinvent, digitalize or eliminate existing products, or to create altogether new ones.” It found that “65 percent of top-performing CIOs are either monetizing their information assets currently, or plan to do so in the next 12 months. The picture is quite different for trailing performers, with 78% of them claiming to not have any information that can be monetized.”
Gartner warns that it’s not easy to monetize data for a variety of reasons. Sometimes no person in an organization knows what data is available. Other times, business units don’t understand the value of their data. And, it adds, “Often, there is no coherent go-to-market strategy that spans the necessary business units.”
So Gartner recommends that MSE CIOs take several actions. One is to “Socialize the idea of monetizing information assets with other business leaders.” Another is establishing an “information product management role” in the organization. This not necessarily be full-time, and it might not even report to the CIO. Finally, Garner says, “Inventory the information assets that the business already has on hand, and partner with other business units to determine the value of these assets to buyers in various markets.”
To Gartner’s recommendation on how MSE CIOs can succeed, we’d add one more recommendation: Build better mobile apps more quickly, effectively and at less cost. For advice on how to do that, check out my blog, “How Small Businesses Build Mobile Apps Today — And How They Can Do It Better.”
We’ve developed Alpha Anywhere with small and medium-sized businesses in mind. It’s a low-code/no-code rapid mobile application development (RMAD) tool that lets people without technical experience write mobile apps. Alpha Anywhere is one of the most highly rated RMAD low-code platforms. InfoWorld named it a top mobile app development leader, and users continually rate it tops on product review sites. Here are details about Alpha Anywhere’s low-code capabilities.
Recently, Gartner gave an honorable mention to Alpha Anywhere in its 2018 Magic Quadrant High Productivity Application PaaS and Gartner also named Alpha Anywhere as an alternative to Microsoft PowerApps for companies needing on-premise.