Research Library

Putting the ‘I’ Back into IT: Future Data Strategies, Big and Small

Over the last 50 years, the growth of the IT industry has been driven by the relentless rise of The Next Big Thing: mainframes, minis, PCs, LANs, web, mobile, social, SaaS, cloud and so on.  Each era has successfully established a new platform – a combination of hardware, software, and communications that expands the foundations upon which useful information systems can be built. But curiously, in each era it has been the ‘T’ in IT that has received top billing.  New technologies (and the vendors behind them) have captured the public’s imagination, with the implicit assumption that the ‘I’ would eventually come along for the ride. It usually has. Today, this dynamic is changing. The Next Big Thing is now information itself.

Our research suggests that this future will consist of interlocking spheres of information influence. Big Data and data science will be widely deployed to improve business sense-making and predictability; next-generation ERP will ensure internal integrity and efficiency inside the firm, while Small Data and edge technologies will create powerful new customer experiences. Successful strategies will require sophisticated end-to-end ecosystem stewardship that meets the needs of all three realms.  This will have many implications for both business strategy and Enterprise IT.


Executive Summary

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Single Topic Report

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David Moschella
Research Fellow
David Moschella, based in the United States, is a Research Fellow for Leading Edge Forum.  David's focus is on industry disruptions, machine intelligence and related business model strategies.  David was previously Global Research Director of the programme. David’s key areas of expertise include globalization, industry restructuring, disruptive technologies, and the co-evolution of business and IT.  He is the author of multiple research reports, including Disrupting the Professions through Machine Learning and Digital Trust, 2016 Study Tour Report: Applying Machine Intelligence, There is Now a Formula for Machine Intelligence Innovation,  Embracing 'the Matrix' and the Machine Intelligence Era and The Myths and Realities of Digital Disruption. An author and columnist, David’s second book, Customer-Driven IT, How Users Are Shaping Technology Industry Growth, was published in 2003 by Harvard Business School Press.  The book predicted the shift from a supplier-driven to today’s customer-led IT environment.  His 1997 book, Waves of Power, assessed global competition within the IT supplier community.  He has written some 200 columns for Computerworld, the IT Industry’s leading publication on Enterprise IT, and has presented at countless industry events all around the world. David previously spent 15 years with International Data Corporation, where he was IDC’s main spokesperson on global IT industry trends and was responsible for its worldwide technology, industry and market forecasts.