By Bryan Kirschner, Vice President, Strategy at DataStax\n\nI\u2019ve found there to be wisdom in William Gibson\u2019s line \u201cThe future is here, it\u2019s just unevenly distributed.\u201d\nThe challenge is parsing \u201csignal from noise\u201d in order to find present-day patterns that are truly predictive of what\u2019s to come.\nFour years ago\u2014in large-scale survey data I\u2019d collected at the time\u2014I saw a strong association between organizational commitment to using new technology (including cloud) to differentiate and better business results. I felt so much conviction that cloud adoption was urgent and necessary that I titled my call to action to CIOs \u201cGet on the cloud bus, or get in the clown car.\u201d\nToday I have equal conviction about a call to action to use new technology to differentiate with data and AI.\nOver 1,400 executives and technical practitioners we surveyed this year confirmed that cloud adoption and a digital agenda have become ubiquitous. Ninety percent of companies are using cloud infrastructure; 95% are at some stage of digital transformation.\nFirms at an \u201cadvanced\u201d or \u201chighly advanced\u201d stage of transformation outnumber those just getting started nearly 10 to one. They show us a glimpse of nearly every company\u2019s future.\nCompanies in an advanced stage of digital transformation\u2014at which respondents also give the firm high marks for \u201cleaning into innovation\u201d\u2014are three and a half times more likely than others to have in place both a data strategy and the role of chief data officer. Those who have done so are four times more likely to have made the most progress toward highly scalable data, highly portable data, and an AI-ready infrastructure.\nMaking these organizational commitments to accelerate progress toward the enabling conditions of competing as a data-driven enterprise is within the control of every executive team.\nThere\u2019s another action you can take right now, based on the signal in this data.\nI\u2019ve repeatedly observed Apache\u2019s Cassandra, Spark, Kafka, and Elasticsearch, deployed in concert, to power the reactive, message-driven apps that define today\u2019s state-of-the-art user experiences.\nThe \u201ctop 10%\u201d of companies with the most scalable, portable data, AI-ready infrastructure are six times more likely to have deployed this full set of technologies than their counterparts in the bottom 10%.\nThis is your future stack if you are \u201cin it to win it\u201d as a data-driven enterprise. This is where the nexus of technology adoption and business results again strikes me as a reason for urgency.\nThis same 10% are three times more likely to be increasing digital investments in response to the coronavirus crisis; in fact, nearly half (47%) are doing so.\nI believe in the potential for accelerated innovation to help the world\u2019s economy return to growth, and in a way that is more productive and humane. Today\u2019s data-driven leaders have given us further reason to be optimistic. Any organization can follow their proven path to raise the odds that they too will have a strategy and the tools to fuel recovery\u2014for the firm itself and its ecosystem.\nRead about the need to continuously improve the customer experience through data here.\n\nAbout Bryan Kirschner:Bryan is Vice President, Strategy at DataStax. For more than 20 years he has helped large organizations build and execute strategy when they are seeking new ways forward and a future materially different from their past. He specializes in removing fear, uncertainty, and doubt from strategic decision-making through empirical data and market sensing.