The CTO, the Cloud and the Campaign

By: Esther Shein| - Leave a comment

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The Changing Role of the Campaign CTO

CTOs have learned that cloud computing is invaluable for many business processes, and political campaigns are no different. Cloud computing is playing a critical role in the race for president this year and even in other political campaigns.

Cloud providers have begun offering campaign management platforms so a CTO can help a campaign team share information more easily in a more organized manner in order to make well-informed, strategic decisions. The right tools can make the difference in how effectively campaigns get their message out to voters and learn about public concerns.

Making the Most of Cloud-Based Apps

With technologies now available for raising campaign funds, managing volunteers, increasing voter awareness and even generating votes, there are compelling reasons for candidates’ CTOs to eye cloud computing. One of the major benefits is the ability to securely store and back up data. The cloud eliminates the hassle of having to track down where data such as voter or donor information resides.

This year’s campaigns may want to take a page from President Barack Obama’s playbook. In 2012, the Obama re-election campaign launched its Dashboard platform. This operated as a virtual field office to connect with millions of voters and send personalized messages.

The platform also enabled staffers to see, in real time, what opinions people had about various issues and how they differed around the country. Campaign workers could then segment by ZIP code where they wanted to prioritize certain efforts.

Learning From Analytics

Big data and predictive analytics are enabling campaigns to glean insights about conversations voters are having and how to stay on top of trends. In fact, the use of technology and data analytics likely sealed the deal for Obama’s 2012 victory, according to CSC Consulting.

The Obama campaign’s CTO and team also developed a data platform called Narwhal that combined multiple data sources and helped with customized fundraising via email and identification of potential voters. It also had “The Optimizer,” which was used to determine the right audiences to find spots for cost-effective TV ads, CSC noted. Data analytics can also be used to help candidates target niche groups of voters with specific messages.

The Role of Cloud Providers

The cloud removes the geographical boundaries campaigns typically face. They can focus on any section of the country at any time and cull data from a wide range of voting blocs. Working with cloud providers also means campaign workers can be freed up to concentrate on their core competencies and not have to worry about keeping systems up and available 24/7.

The cloud offers campaigns all the same advantages businesses are attracted to: It’s an affordable solution that allows them to scale compute power up or down on an as-needed basis, access data quickly and streamline processes. It helps make organizations as efficient as possible. Most importantly, it allows voters to get to know the candidates, who can make the most of their time on the campaign trail like never before.

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About The Author

Esther Shein

Freelance Writer

Esther Shein is a freelance writer and editor specializing in technology, business and education. Her work has appeared in several online and print publications, including Inc., Computerworld, NetworkComputing, InformationWeek, BYTE, CIO, CMO.com and The Boston Globe. She has written thought leadership whitepapers, customer case studies and marketing materials in addition to news and feature articles. Prior to going freelance she was the editor-in-chief of Datamation, an online enterprise technology magazine. She was also a senior writer at eWeek (formerly PC Week) and worked at The Associated Press.

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