Because we delivered more value than Starbucks could have gotten from a plain, low-priced paper cup, and because we were agile and responsive to the evolving needs of a high-value customer, we earned 2% more than the market price on our cups. I call this extra profit the "agility dividend."
You can apply these same principles to your company. If you use big data to study the patterns and behaviors of your most important customers, you too will find 20 little things you can do to make your product more valuable to your high-value customers. You too can earn the agility dividend and turn IT into a profit center, rather than a cost center.
Learn to swim in the ocean of big data and see the patterns and hear the signals. Otherwise, misguided intuitions from the last century will make your products irrelevant and your company will die.
Michael Hugos, a former CIO, is a principal at the Center for Systems Innovation. He can be reached via his website at .
Read more about it strategy in CIO's IT strategy Drilldown.