Big Data and Analytics: Why an IT Organization Requires Dedicated Roles to Drive Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Big Data and Analytics: Why an IT Organization Requires Dedicated Roles to Drive Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Dominik Krimpmann (FOM University of Applied Sciences, Essen, Germany) and Anna Stühmeier (University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSSMET.2017070105

Abstract

Big Data and Analytics have become key concepts within the corporate world, both commercially and from an information technology (IT) perspective. This paper presents the results of a global quantitative analysis of 400 IT leaders from different industries, which examined their attitudes toward dedicated roles for an Information Architect and a Data Scientist. The results illustrate the importance of these roles at the intersection of business and technology. They also show that to build sustainable and quantifiable business results and define an organization's competitive positioning, both roles need to be dedicated, rather than shared across different people. The research also showed that those dedicated roles contribute actively to a sustainable competitive positioning mainly driven by visualization of complex matters.
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Theory

The massive amount of data now available raises the question of how companies can make efficient use of what lies behind their business processes. Interactions between IT and business structures within the organization would appear to be necessary. This paper investigates how a dedicated Data Scientist and a dedicated Information Architect could add a new and connective strategic element to the organizational structure.

Being in a dedicated role means identifying with specific stereotypes and integrating with an organizational classification that has a positive influence on the task at hand (Ashforth & Mael, 1989). Attributing accountability helps the work flow operate more efficiently. Yet these dedicated roles as the sustainable force for handling Analytics and Big Data are scarcely discussed in either the literature or within the IT organization. To date, such work has been largely handled by a shared group with different roles within the company. A well-balanced alignment between IT strategy and business strategy has been shown to be a decisive factor in successful IT governance (Wu, Straub, & Liang, 2015). This governance structure also has a positive impact on organizational performance. The authors therefore believe that the dedication of roles within IT is conducive to better organizational performance. This research investigates the importance of dedication and what its integration into a conceptual model might look like.

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