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News round-up: CDOs appointed in response to big data trend

News round-up: CDOs appointed in response to big data trend

Big data has been a defining trend in IT in recent years, but it is only now organisations are responding to its explosion with the creation of new positions.

A new report from Gartner has found that a quarter of companies will have appointed a chief data officer (CDO) by 2015, while there are already over 100 CDOs operating at large firms.

However, CDOs are much more common in the US compared to in the UK, which indicated companies are still unsure of how to make the most of the big data trend.

As Debra Logan, research vice president and Gartner Fellow, says: "Banking, government and insurance are the first three industries to adopt the CDO role and in that order. However, we are now seeing other industries following. For example, we saw the first significant appointments in the advertising industry in 2013."

Enterprise IT infrastructure agenda

A new report from McKinsey has also highlighted what will be on the enterprise IT infrastructure agenda for organisations during the course of 2014.

Its study showed that while 2014 is set to be just as tough on budgets as last year, this does not mean companies are going to be holding back from making improvements where possible.

McKinsey said: "To continue making advances in efficiency and quality and to meet business expectations, infrastructure organisations will have to not only implement frontline metrics, such as tickets closed per day, but also use them in performance huddles and one-on-one coaching to improve individual performance."

Falling oil and gas production

New results from Shell have shown oil and gas production has fallen for the company, which resulted in it announcing a 48 per cent drop in its profits.

Shell revealed that its profits, which are excluding one-time items and inventory changes, was $2.9 billion (£1.76 billion) in the fourth quarter, which is down from $5.6 billion a year earlier.

The firm's chief executive Ben van Beurden said: "Our momentum slowed in 2013. We must improve our financial results, achieve better capital efficiency and continue to strengthen our operational performance and project delivery."

European competition rules block manufacturing in UK

The UK's transport secretary Philip Hammond has blamed European competition rules from preventing the government from giving a carriage contract for London's Crossrail scheme to a British manufacturing company.

Speaking at the launch of a German-built train commissioned for London's rail network, he said the government would "like" the contract to go to a UK company, this may not happen.

Mr Hammond said: "There is a process we are legally bound to follow and we will follow that process. I'm not saying there won't be [a UK supplier] but we are honour bound by the process. It would be a huge fillip for UK industry. That decision will be taken by the Crossrail board."

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