Rise of the Chief Convergence Officer

  |  September 26, 2013   |  Comments

While the job of a chief convergence officer might seem hard today, it's about to become even harder due to several upcoming changes.

Most large organizations employ a variety of technologies that are very challenging to integrate in a meaningful way. Yet, without a deep understanding of the needs of each part of an organization at an end user level (specifically, how the data can best be leveraged for particular use cases) converged implementations will not succeed.

There seems to be a crisis of corporate technology where new capabilities of platforms are rapidly changing the way businesses are run and structured, requiring new leadership designations, such as a chief convergence officer (CCO) to help create end-to-end customer experiences that work and are scalable. While the job of a CCO might seem hard today, it's about to become even harder due to several upcoming changes.

For one, the arrival of big data over the last three years spawned several new industries and technologies that need to be converged to be truly useful. Second, we're just entering into a world of highly intelligent, programmable sensors (the internet of things, essentially) together with wearable computing such as Google Project Glass, creating a lot more data to work with (cleaner data, I might add). I alluded to some of the changes and benefits Project Glass will bring in my first article at ClickZ, but I didn't talk about intelligent sensors till now.

Robert Scoble has been evangelizing technology for as long as I have known him, but his latest rant on intelligent sensors (which I heard this Friday at Social Data Week NYC) suggests that a much richer and more powerful array of intelligent sensor data (including actions taken based on the bluetooth radios we have built in to many of our mobile devices) than we have ever had seen and which will change everything. In fact, a new book by Scoble and Israel titled The Age of Context paints a picture of what that new world order will look like in just a few short years when big data becomes data in motion.


Jim Grubb of Cisco, a expert on the internet of things says the "zettaflood of data", or "data in motion" will have huge potential but a very limited shelf life, where the primary value is in capturing and acting on the data as soon as it is created.

The development of big data and intelligent sensors requires Convergence Analytics that conveys actionable information in real time from many disparate sources.

A true customer intelligence system, along the lines I suggested, probably does not exist today, not-withstanding the hype in this space. Building a customer intelligence system (CIS) representing the voice of the customer (VOC) requires deep changes in technology, ownership, funding, process, focus and new type of leader to tie all these things together.

And, in a few years customer intelligence systems will be a necessity – the data needed for convergence will be abundantly available and businesses will demand it. Nevertheless, a new type of technology leadership will be needed to conceive and operate these CIS systems (and I'll cover this subject in more detail in a subsequent ClickZ post).

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Marshall Sponder

For over a decade Marshall Sponder has influenced the development of the digital analytics industry with his WebMetricsGuru writings that focus on social media metrics, analytics and media convergence. He also possesses considerable in-house corporate experience with roles at IBM,, Porter Novelli, and WCG while continuing to work with start-ups. Marshall is a Board Member Emeritus at the Web Analytics Association (DAA) and teaches Web Intelligence at Rutgers University and Baruch Business College. Marshall is the author of "Social Media Analytics: Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting, and Using Metrics," published by McGraw-Hill in 2011.

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