Big Data is a big IT job creator, and there's a "nexus of forces" brewing that is dramatically changing how digital technology is handled in the organization. Those are two major themes being presented by research firm Gartner at its Symposium/ITxpo, now taking place in Orlando.
The opportunities offered by Big Data can result in 4.4 million new jobs by 2015, the firm said. Of those 4.4 million, 1.9 million are projected to be in the U.S. In addition, said Gartner Senior Vice President Peter Sondergaard in a statement, "every Big Data-related role in the U.S. will create employment for three people outside of IT," resulting in an additional 6 million new jobs.
Big Data includes the huge amounts of structured and unstructured data that are pouring through organizations. According to Gartner, effectively utilizing Big Data requires shining a light on what it describes as "dark data," which is information that is available and is sometimes being collected, but which is not being analyzed or used. Analyzing this data, the company said, gives organizations an edge because of the value it can generate through the use of predictive algorithms.
But there's a catch to capturing, analyzing and using Big Data. "There's not enough talent in the industry," Sondegaard said, meaning that only one-third of the Big Data-related IT jobs will be filled and "data experts will be a scarce, valuable commodity." To counter this growing need, he recommends that IT leaders immediately focus "on how their organization develops and attracts the skills required."
In addition to the rising importance of Big Data, another major theme at the Gartner conference is what the company is describing as the "Nexus of Forces," which is transforming how organizations are budgeting and handling technology.
The company noted that the transformation of technology budgets encapsulate this trend. A dozen years ago, Gartner said, only 20 percent of technology budgets were for costs outside of IT departments. However, by the end of this decade, it's destined to become nearly 90 percent.
Every Budget Is 'an IT Budget'
The driver of this Nexus is the convergence of social, mobile, cloud and information patterns, resulting in the digitization of business and in how clients are serviced that goes beyond the data center. This digitization, which is affecting every department, is why the research firm is saying that every departmental budget, essentially, is "becoming an IT budget."
To handle this, Gartner predicts that companies will increasingly create a role of chief digital officer (CDO), and that a quarter of all organizations will have such a position at the leadership table by 2015.
Gartner Vice President David Willis told news media that the CDO will cover "where the enterprise meets the customer, where the revenue is generated and the mission accomplished," and will be centrally responsible for how an organization's full digital business strategy is defined.
In this view, such a strategic oversight will include coordinating companywide efforts to counter and anticipate cyberattacks, to respond to "reputation warfare," to oversee compliance efforts in the age of digital everything, and to address consistency in the evolving digitization of customer relations.