The most significant asset in any organization is data, yet many companies struggle to capitalize on its secrets because of complex and siloed systems, access controls and policies as well as cultural and interoperability issues across the business. Leading organizations break down these barriers by reimaging the business relationship with data while simultaneously transforming IT’s role to materially impact business outcomes.
Over the next three to five years, IT’s success will depend on how effectively it enables the organization to unleash the power of data. Building a new operating model that can thrive in a highly volatile market thanks to data-driven insights, starts with these four key principles:
- Clarity of data accountabilities at the top
Data’s inherent risk necessitates well-defined goals and accountabilities across the business, starting with the established roles of the chief information officer and chief technology officer, as well as the creation of new roles, such as the chief data officer (CDO). This new position leads the organization’s data management and governance efforts, and aligns the data and information strategy with the overall business strategy to help the organization make more informed decisions.
- The blending of both business and technical acumen
Utilizing data as an asset requires the business to become data-fluent. IT can help by enabling “citizen developers,” or business-users who have both business and technical acumen to create applications that generate business value. IT excels here by upscaling the data literacy and skills of business-users through tailored approaches that illustrate the value of sharing, the power of actionable insights, and the persuasive influence of data on shaping the customer experience. IT must also invest in upgrading its own skillsets to adapt to the needs of a digital economy, which requires harnessing emerging technologies such as advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
- Data curation as a core business competency
Running the business at market speed requires data curation to extend beyond the solo domain of technical professionals and settle in the business, closer to the end customer. This will enable the creation of “data marketplaces,” where internal data consumers can “shop” for the best available data for their business needs and use this information in their decision-making process. Leading IT organizations also find success with “signals repositories,” which use “signals” or complex algorithms and AI systems to improve predication accuracy. The business can learn from these signals to create new customized products and services.
- A frictionless and widely accessible data supply
As the organizations begins to use more data, the data supply chain, too, must be reimagined. New frictionless supply chains make data more accessible, manageable and easier to use, but governance over the data supply chain must also evolve. By using machine and deep learning, organizations can greatly reduce—or even eliminate—the need to manually profile data, develop rules, prepare reports, and monitor results. This will allow organizations to handle immense data sets and adapt to the needs of a rapidly changing business landscape quicker and more efficiently than humans can alone.
The future of IT is here
IT finds future success in a new role, facilitated by a digital transformation that helps to advance the business strategy through data usage. By making data readily available, IT can help the business excel in today’s competitive digital landscape and protect the company, too, with the right governance and personnel in place.
Find out what you can do now to unlock the power of data, including common strategies to help you capture the value of data assets, in “The future of IT.”