Information Transformation: Putting Data at the Heart of the Enterprise

BrandPost By Ima Buxton
May 31, 2017
IT Leadership

A consistent information strategy is the central dimension of digital transformation. The IDC “Information Transformation Workbook” provides concrete recommendations on how to holistically tackle the transformation process.

Major companies such as BMW, Barclays Bank, or Proctor & Gamble are not only complementing their revenues with new digital products but are often revolutionizing their own vision by a complete dedication to digitization. At the heart of this process is data, making information transformation the most important and central dimension of digital transformation.

The “Information Transformation Workbook” that IDC has created, sponsored by the software company SAP, is a companion on the journey of digital. It shows the dimensions of this process and how information is the key to new levels of insight and becomes the basis for new business models. The tools and exercises in this workbook correspond with IDC’s tested assessment methodologies for information transformation.

IDC has developed a model to measure the degree to which a company has adapted to the challenge of transformation from an organizational point of view: The five levels range from “Ad hoc” at the start of the journey to “Optimized” for a fully digital orientated organization. The first step for CIOs is to assess their own level of maturity across the following five dimensions of information transformation. This self-assessment is supported by examples of the standards and examples of the information maturity stages with concrete recommendations by IDC on how to make progress on the respective dimensions. This allows CIOs to map out their own individual action plan to which they can regularly go back and make sure they stay on track.

Information Architecture” deals with aggregating data from various sources and developing an enterprise information model. This allows structuring data and making it available for further analysis and presentation, also handling it in a secure way. “Data Discovery” stands for organizing and preparing it to be leveraged by validating and integrating data – in the next step its visualization and extracting information for later monetization. “Value Development” takes the acquired data to the next level. As potentially the amount of gathered information is immense, its value needs to be extracted by analytical methods, using algorithms, program management, and scrupulously assuring quality.

With these measures in place, the data is now ready for “Value Realization”: Service innovation combines internal and external data and delivers new, smarter services. This is also where new data-driven business models can come into effect – the gathered information can be shaped into its own product (“productization”) and put on the market. Finally, “Knowledge and Collaboration” deals with the way we use technology to access and share information. Governance and risk management aspects demonstrate the power of data: it also needs to be regulated and controlled.

After assessing maturity across the various dimensions of information transformation, the workbook takes CIOs to the next step: what are the concrete actions items to tackle, what are the potential activities to consider for the action plan. The workbook allows executives to map out their organization’s maturity across all five dimensions of information transformation and monitor their progress as they revisit this workbook over time. Over periods of 6, 12, and 24 months, CIOs are called to revisit the workbook and measure their progress. This makes it a workbook in its true sense: A tool for the CIOs to map out the process of making their organization innovation drivers.

Download your free copy of IDC’s and SAP’s workbook and start mapping out your information transformation journey now.  

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Further reading

Become a digital leader:  A new set of KPIs enables CIOs to deliver on digital transformation  

Learn from the digital thrivers: 5 recipes that give CIOs guidance on how to flourish in digital transformation initiatives

How to become agile: What a digital platform needs to achieve for the business