Want to Speed Up Your Digital Transformation Initiatives? Take a Look at Your Data

Good data management and governance practices will help you put data to work to power transformation efforts

istock 627746768

Digital transformation has taken center stage on many CIO agendas. If transformation is at the top of your agenda, you’re not alone:

  • IDC predicts that two-thirds of the CEOs of Global 2000 companies will have digital transformation at the heart of their corporate strategies by the end of 2017.
  • Four in 10 IT leaders in the Computerworld 2017 Tech Forecast study say more than 50% of their organization has undergone digital transformation.
  • According to Gartner, CIOs are spending 18% of their budget on digitization efforts and expect to see that number grow to 28% by 2018.

Based on these statistics (and in my regular talks with CIOs), there’s a high probability that your organization has an initiative underway to digitize one or more aspects of the business. You may even be well along the digital transformation path and feeling pretty good about your progress. I don’t want to rain on your digital transformation parade, but before you go any further, you should take a long, hard look at your data and how you manage it.

What types of data are you collecting?

Transactional data – sales, financial, and the like – is the most common source of data at organizations in IDG’s 2016 Enterprise Data & Analytics Survey. Customer databases are close behind, followed by email and productivity applications. Nearly half (45%) of IT leaders said managing this latter type of unstructured data – email, Word files, presentations, videos, and other non-numerical information – is one of their biggest challenges.

Coming on strong is a new generation of machine- or sensor-generated data, which grew 29% from 2015 to 2016 and is expected to grow even faster as organizations increase investments in the Internet of Things.

These different data types add up quickly: By the end of last year, 22% of enterprise organizations expected to be managing more than 1 petabyte of data.

Where is it stored?

Data is the driving force behind every organization today, and therefore data management is the driving force behind any digital transformation initiative. Without good, clean, accessible, and trustworthy data, your digital transformation journey may be a slow and difficult one.

All this data needs to be accessible. If it’s locked away in silos, your digital transformation efforts are likely stuck in neutral. You need a modern approach to data management that includes integration of cloud and on-premise data – along with the proper governance and security policies – to ensure that you have intelligent data that is accurate, trustworthy, and protected. As data becomes a more valuable asset to digitally driven businesses, IT leaders will need to find ways to unlock the value in information without exposing it to increased security risks.

What are you doing with it?

Of course, many believe that data has no value on its own. You need to leverage the data to impact your business in ways that include improving the customer experience, speeding product and service delivery, or discovering new markets. In the 2017 CIO Tech Poll, 70% of IT leaders said they plan to increase spending on business intelligence/analytics in the year ahead, and 52% plan to increase spending on predictive analytics. They’re looking to advanced analytics to solve some of their persistent challenges, such as uncovering relationships among varying data (60%), predicting customer behavior (47%), and predicting sales of products or services (42%).

To speed up your transformation projects and initiatives, you need to take a long, hard look at your data. Good data management and governance practices will put you a step ahead of companies that don’t yet view their data as a strategic asset.

For more on how CIOs are leading data-driven transformation, visit https://www.informatica.com/CIO.