Modern business strategy is no longer just about “technology” generally – these days, the technologists who can map out, mash up and mine data for strategic benefit are pivotal to an organisation’s direction.

That is according to an ad-tech exec who now runs digital operations at IBM.

“The developer and the data scientist now is a very big decision-maker in where businesses go,” IBM’s chief digital officer Bob Lord tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “The business strategy and technology strategy are now one in all businesses.

“The people who are bringing value to brands on behalf of agencies are those individuals who have the core data science skills and analytics skills and development skills to use technologies in very new ways.”

The former CEO of Razorfish, Publicis’ online platforms and AOL Platforms, Lord himself studied industrial engineering at syracuse, before getting his MBA from Harvard, closing the loop between the two disciplines in the 80s.

But data is now more important than ever to CEOs and CTOs, Lord says. And, in the changing world of advertising, where data is fuelling of performance-based, precision-audience-targeted ad creative, Lord sees every reason that traditional marketing and new-wave tactics can combine.

“There is still a very strong place for brand messaging,” he says. “But there is a much stronger and tighter link in to the data science underneath that, to make sure you not only get a brand halo but accentuate that brand halo through a data-driven strategy.”