Big Data Changing Approach To Business

Bill Martin, VP, CIO, Royal Caribbean Cruises
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Bill Martin, VP, CIO, Royal Caribbean Cruises

Enabling enterprise collaboration tools

When it comes to the enterprise I’m really looking forward to enabling enterprise collaboration tools and unleashing the creativity of our workforce. The nature of our business is one of constantly reinventing the vacation experience and the creative energy that goes into everything from designing our ships to lining up the entertainment options onboard, we have an extraordinary number of creative minds. Enabling the fertilization of ideas through enterprise collaboration is going to take our company to an entirely different level and frankly should be concerning to our competitors!

"The ability to use data to drive our business forward will be forever changed by the thing we currently are calling Big Data"

Ensuring system integrity

Security is something that we can never be 100 percent sure of. I remember coming into the CIO role back in 2007 and talking to one of my peers at a pharmaceutical company. They had been breached and the personal information, as well as pharmacy records of 100’s of thousands of customers had been stolen despite the security measures they had in place to protect their customers’ privacy. My thought at the time was that they went much  further than we did, and yet they still got breached! This was a great lesson to learn as I came into the role and I have tried to stay true to an “above and beyond compliance” approach to security ever since. In this age of lightning fast data movement, it’s imperative that we do everything we can to ensure systems integrity. While it doesn’t keep me up at night, it is easily the thing that I spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing to make sure we stay current and on top of it.

Big Data changing Business methods

The buzz word doesn’t aptly describe it, but Big Data is going to fundamentally change how we approach our business. As companies grow and capture more and more information about their business (both customer interactions and operational data) they will be able to identify new and unique things that are driving their business. Just as the CDC can use Google to better predict where the next outbreak of flu will occur, so will we, in business, rely on massive volumes of data to learn new ways to drive our business. Whether it’s from sensors on the factory floor, interactive people counting in restaurant venues, or reading the social indicators about a recent ad campaign, the ability to use data to drive our business forward will be forever changed by the thing we currently are calling Big Data.

My role as a CIO

Perhaps it’s because I came to the IT organization from the business, but I have always thought of everything we do in IT in terms of the value that we are adding. Whether that is done to drive value in the guest experience with things like revolutionary internet satellite connectivity that could easily be mistaken for a shoreside fiber connection, or dramatically improving the on-line shopping experience, or even driving targeted offers to our most valued guests through our systems, it’s all about adding business value for our customers.

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