Financial Times CIO Christina Scott warned the hype around responsive design was in danger of making it "the next Big Data".
The opening speaker at yesterday's CIO Summit in London, where well over 100 of the UK's top CIOs and IT executives were in attendance, Scott spoke about the 125-year-old newspaper's mobile strategy, but was dubious how much responsive design had to offer the media industry, which has seen advertising revenue shrink by hundreds of millions of pounds in the last decade.
"We've got to go a lot further with mobile," she said. "A third of our traffic is now from mobile which drives 24% of our digital subscriptions, while mobile advertising is up 26% year on year."
The mobile traffic figure follows recent announcements by John Lewis and the English National Opera, who both revealed earlier this month 40% of their traffic was accessed on mobile devices.
The former general manager of future media and technology at the BBC, profiled in CIO magazine earlier this year, said that the FT had developed its own HTML5 mobile app so they could deepen their relationship with readers rather than go down the Apple route, but was realistic that recent design and development trends were no silver bullet.
"Responsive design is in danger of becoming the Big Data of 2013-14. Is a marginally better user experience really going to drive your business forward?"
Before taking part in a panel discussion on stage with Telefonica UK CIO Brendan O'Rourke, Severn Trent Water CIO Myron Hrycyk and Richard Warner, CIO of insurers LV=, Scott said that the FT had now put data at the heart of its marketing, advertising, editorial and business decisions, and had also moved its data warehousing to Amazon Redshift for its flexibility and so the organisation did not have to guess "how much data we had and how much we would collect".
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