One simple solution to unite the CIO and CMO

Finding common ground between CIOs and CMOs is vital, especially when evaluating and investing in emerging technologies

The CIO’s Role in the Internet of Things

In our soon-to-be-released Digital IQ survey of over 1,400 business and technology executives, 20% of respondents say they plan to invest in sensors. We feel confident in predicting that the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of Everything will finally begin to take off this year, as futurists have forecasted for years. What remains to be seen is whether or not CIOs will win their rightful place in product design planning and the development of business instrumentation strategy. Slowly but surely businesses and governments will use sensors to digitize droves of everyday devices and extract infinite amounts of information and insights to gain a competitive edge and garner deeper relationships with customers. Here are a handful of examples we expect to materialize this year: Mobile devices will interact with the digital data that surrounds them, giving users the benefits of a true digital assistant Low cost sensors will track shopping traffic patterns to enable retailors to improve customer service, streamline operations and lower costs Motion and weight sensors will direct drivers to open parking spaces Manufacturers will track everything in their supply chains to streamline operations City governments will use gunfire locators to sense when a gun is fired …

A CIO’s DevOps approach to resolving the agility-stability paradox

Real process change to DevOps requires a break with the past.

The strategic CIO’s new role in innovation

Innovation is the next frontier for all CIOs, and now is the time for the CIO to prepare and take action.

Machine learning 101 (infographics)

Our visual primers will show you what it is, how it works, and where it’s headed.

Digital twins beyond the industrials

How AI-based virtual replicas can help financial institutions better predict customer behavior

Are you keeping up with your tech-savvy customers?

Vala Afshar of Salesforce on the new rules for delighting—and keeping—your customers in the digital age.

Three ways to get ahead of IoT cyber-risks

The recent DDoS-fueled internet outage reminds us why an IoT risk strategy is key.

The rise of robots working in human spaces

Steve Cousins of Savioke describes advancements in navigation that are enabling robots to safely work directly with people in unpredictable environments.

Security at the level of key-value pairs in a NoSQL database

Adam Fuchs of Sqrrl describes the benefits of data-centric security analytics.

How NoSQL is changing enterprise data management

Oliver Halter discusses how CEOs and CIOs are being forced to tolerate some data inconsistency.

Augmented reality: A catalyst for the coming cognitive revolution

Augmented reality can extend humans’ cognitive potential, reduce cognitive burden, and provide a new view to business operations.

The road ahead for 3D printing

As 3D printers become faster, easier to use, handle multiple materials, and print active components or systems, they will find use beyond rapid prototyping.

Chris Curran

Chris is a principal and Chief Technologist for the US firm’s Advisory practice, where he is responsible for technology strategy, enterprise architecture and innovation, and the development of thought leadership reflective of PwC’s point of view on trends and innovations in technology. He works directly with senior executives on their most complex and strategic technology issues, helping to explore the opportunities presented by emerging technologies, define the IT function and organization, deploy IT governance and management practices, and develop business and technical architectures. Among his accomplishments, Chris has global experience helping CIOs be more innovative, and has helped design and lead the implementation of high-value technology initiatives for his clients, most recently in the property and casualty insurance, health insurance and consumer products industries. Chris is a leading technology blogger, and also leads the development and analysis of PwC’s annual Digital IQ Survey, which measures how well companies understand and capitalize on the value of technology and leverage it to meet their business and customer needs.   Follow Chris on and

Cloud computing’s underground club

Cloud providers can boost business by deeply discounting capacity during off-peak times. Welcome to the “cloud underground.”

5 leading practices for data lakes

The right approach to data lakes is essential to ensure you get the most useful insights from your massive data stores.

3 approaches to emerging technology experimentation

The key to effectively experimenting with emerging technology is to link innovations to specific business goals.

Industrial manufacturers should set sights on digital operations, not just products

Manufacturers that transform their operations with digital technologies can move faster and more efficiently—and cut costs.

Not quite ready for the (fourth industrial) revolution

With few businesses prepared for Industry 4.0, it’s time to hone your strategy for emerging technology.

3 big emerging technology themes from CES 2016

How will three major themes that prevailed at CES 2016 impact your organization’s technology strategy?

Garage university for emerging technologists: Quadcopters

What inspired makers tinkering in their garages can teach businesses about effectively experimenting with technology.

Guiding principles of technology innovators

PwC’s 2015 Digital Survey IQ results explore what digital leaders do to capitalize on their technology investments and drive stronger performance.

Why every company needs its own tech lab

The importance of a having a lab that where you can run experiments and perfect existing systems to improve the business.

Enterprises hedge their bets with NoSQL databases

Without a scalable data architecture, the customer experience suffers. Imagine you’re a retailer offering tens of thousands of products online. You have rich descriptions that include numerous attributes for each product. In standard relational databases, these attributes exist in silos, are poorly described, and cannot be indexed for maximum usefulness. So, if you’re using only a standard relational database and a conventional enterprise search engine, customers who search “17-inch laptop” will retrieve many false positive results that aren’t laptops. NoSQL1 document databases provide the capability to address this problem. With the help of data tagged in Extensible Markup Language (XML) or structured JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), NoSQL offerings such as MarkLogic and MongoDB enable more refined indexing by attribute. Dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of product attributes can serve as search filters (or facets) that a query engine such as XQuery can use to deliver far more relevant results. “Usually the product has features that can easily be attributed with standard values,” says Mark Unak, CTO of Codifyd, a consultancy that helps clients to optimize their use of e-commerce website data. For example, a customer can filter on the brand name of the laptop, and the results will include only …

The internet of BBQ

The growing array of BBQ-related apps and devices is a sign that the internet of things is here and could benefit your business.

Robots set free: Innovation in robotics

The future of robotics in manufacturing hinges on developments in robots’ cognition, manipulation, and interaction abilities.

The capabilities and limitations of video analytics

Video analytics promise to help retailers better understand customers. Here are three issues to keep in mind.

5 growing pains for Chief Data Science Officers

These best practices can help Chief Data Science Officers demonstrate their value and achieve success.

The power of picking the right prototype

How to overcome some common challenges of using prototypes to test out product ideas.

3 key hurdles hampering the Internet of Things

We explore three big issues that are keeping the internet of things from truly taking off.

Field service workers could fix wearables’ PR problem

Why wearables are tailor-made for field service workers, who could become the technology’s biggest advocates.

Microservices architecture: A change worth making

How can your business shift to microservices architecture (MSA): a decoupled approach that suits today’s nimble approach to applications development.

Lessons in innovation from the future of shopping

How retailers can uncover the innovation opportunities promised by the internet of things.

Enterprise innovators: Thinking big, acting small

Four ways to encourage innovation in your enterprise to effectively compete in the digital age.

Interview: Will data lake advocates repeat the mistakes of data warehousing?

  PwC’s Technology Forecast recently addressed the topic of data lakes. The coverage included research and interviews on data lakes and how they can help enterprises remove integration barriers and clear a path for more timely and informed business decisions. To continue the discussion and look at some of the challenges enterprises can face in implementing a shift to data lakes, we are sharing an excerpt of a conversation between Technology Forecast’s Alan Morrison and Terry Retter, president of small business consultancy BrightZone, in Reno, Nevada; a former VP/CIO of Grubb & Ellis, and a PwC alumnus. AM:  Terry, you were a CIO. Some companies say they’ve created a data lake. In reality, they’ve built a single-purpose sandbox. How can CIOs get their organizations to commit to the strategic, long-term vision of a true data lake? TR: By dealing with real problems and real users.  They should focus on a service or a perception problem among customers they must resolve to avoid losing profits or market share. They should start small, but think big, in data lake terms. They shouldn’t collect data just around a single process. Instead, they should gather everything they can think of while using the lake at first to solve a particular problem. …

To liberate healthcare data, dip into data lakes

How data lakes can help healthcare companies make better user of their data while protecting confidential patient information.

6 technology innovation sources for outside-in learning

How to stoke the flames of innovation in your company by bringing the outside in.

The high value of advanced data visualization

Compelling visualizations are necessary for big data to make an impact on enterprise decision making.

A guide to the Internet of Things

We share a roundup of fresh PwC intellectual capital on the internet of things.

Smarter business intelligence through sensors

Sensors and embedded computing are quietly re-architecting companies’ operations and business intelligence capabilities.

Is enterprise integration a pipe dream?

A look at some of the issues facing companies looking to achieve enterprise data integration.

Finding a home for the Chief Data Science Officer

Where the chief data science officer fits in your org chart depends on your analytics strategy. Here are some models to consider.

Engaging employees for an innovation advantage

Bridging enterprise silos to bring employees into the process and encourage innovation.

The FBI says you’ve been breached by a nation-state. Now what?

What to do if your company’s network falls victim to hacking by a nation-state.

Are wearables for business too?

How wearable technology can pay off in the enterprise.

The 5 Dimensions of the So-Called Data Scientist

What is “data science”? Is it really a new emerging discipline as some claim it to be; or is it the emperor in new clothes – data mining, statistics, business intelligence or analytics re-branded? Moreover, is it possible that one person can fulfil the role of a data scientist? Rather than answering this question directly, let’s review some of the skills required for someone to be a “data scientist.” First and foremost, a “data scientist” is a business or domain expert: Someone who has to have the ability to articulate how information, insights, and analytics can help business leadership answer key questions – and even determine which questions need answering – and make appropriate decisions. The data scientist will need a thorough understanding of the business across the value chain (from marketing, sales, distribution, operations, pricing, products, finance, risk, etc.) to do this well. Second, a “data scientist” is a statistics expert: Someone who has to have the ability to determine the most appropriate statistical techniques for addressing different classes of problems, apply the relevant techniques, and translate the results and generate insights in such a way that the businesses can understand the value. This will be predicated on a …

Common Misconceptions about Emerging Technologies: Gamification

First in a series on common misconceptions about emerging technologies. Misconception: Gamification is about giving out badges to users. I had the chance recently to go through Code.org’s Hour of Code, an introduction to a series of free online courses that are designed to teach children (not to mention adults) the fundamentals of computer science. Hour of Code teaches a few basics of JavaScript using a drag-and-drop interface and exercises with challenges and goals from Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies and other popular games. Students make progress level by level, and after they’ve completed the full Hour, they each get a certificate of completion. By December 2013, Code.org claimed that over 20 million users had completed the Hour of Code. The course seems to me a prime example of gamification, not just because it rewards users with certificates of completion or incorporates bits of games, but because the entire design reflects a solid understanding of how users are motivated and the game conforms the design to that understanding. Code.org’s designers encourage students to make more and more progress, but equally importantly, they’ve cleared some fundamental obstacles students have faced when it comes to getting a leg up on programming concepts. …

Mining Customer Insights with Speech-to-Text Technology

From touch and gesture interfaces to advanced facial recognition, our computers are communicating with us on an increasingly human level. One technology that is showing particular promise is a computer’s ability to recognize human speech or Speech-to-Text (STT). Applications such as Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Nuance’s Dragon have brought voice-activated commands to the masses while enterprise companies are employing the technology to discover new insights from previously untapped audio and video data sources. One of the greatest benefits of STT is the ability to bridge the gap between unstructured audio/video data and advanced analytics such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and graph analysis. A company’s ability to understand their most vocal customers, whether within their call centers or on video sharing sites, can lead to a better view of customers and their experiences. Call center logs can reveal interesting patterns and trends in the quality of customer agent call handling and (when combined with other data) call center operational costs. These insights could then be used to retrain customer service agents, identify and stop a poorly conceived marketing campaign, or quickly understand the root cause for a spike in call center volume. For example, PwC’s Emerging Tech …

Espionage Tradecraft Targeting Businesses

Spies want what companies have—trade secrets, confidential business plans, and personally identifiable information. To mine this rich lode of data, foreign intelligence services, criminal organizations, and other groups have a sophisticated and varied set of tools. The use of cutting-edge technology in espionage against economic and other targets has dominated recent headlines. But intelligence collectors also employ longstanding human-based tactics, such as eliciting information from unsuspecting contacts, setting up face-to-face meetings to recruit and run sources, and “social-engineering” people into opening e-mails or accessing thumb-drives loaded with malicious code. Our increasingly connected digital world has created several new ways for attackers to exploit their targets and, conversely, new ways to be detected and caught: The interconnectedness of objects and people has made possible ubiquitous and nearly invisible surveillance. Foreign intelligence services and law enforcement agencies collect a wealth of data on espionage targets—including businesspersons and technical experts—and some transnational criminal organizations are developing similar capabilities. Media and other reports have highlighted several governments’ efforts to tap massive amounts of Internet and other communications. These surveillance efforts are boosted by social-networking sites (SNS). People divulge personal and professional information—both inadvertently and because they have been engineered or tricked into doing so—that …

Contacts

Chris Curran

Principal and Chief Technologist, PwC US Tel: +1 (214) 754 5055 Email

Vicki Huff Eckert

Global New Business & Innovation Leader Tel: +1 (650) 387 4956 Email

Pierre-Alain Sur

US Technology Industry Leader Tel: +1 (646) 471 6973 Email