In an environment where top-line growth is hard to find, CIOs must dig deeper and be even more of an ally to the business. The data analysis tools and frameworks that can tease out the insights within these datasets will all be in high demand in a year that may be starved for demand. In your budget, find room for qualified data scientists. These professionals are the pianists of your business intelligence symphony. Lobby, push and fight to hire the best folks; they will pay for themselves in new opportunities and increased efficiencies.
The bottom line: As a CIO or a member of technical staff, it's important to understand the "macro" picture of the fiscal cliff with the appropriate amount of acknowledgement and respect, but the real key to successfully navigating this challenging time is to continue to invest in making IT less of a cost center and more of a business ally. Keep your options open, do more with less and identify opportunities for the business to grow overall. That's a recipe for success in any environment.
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