Trapped Data is Trapped Revenue
By Chris Pemberton, Oct 17, 2022
Liberate your data for business value.
The number of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices worldwide is expected to exceed 75 billion by 2025.
As the volume of connected devices grows, so does the non-stop flow of data being generated at the edge or stored on premises. If captured data is kept in a specific location for a specific purpose and is inaccessible to other areas of the business where it might provide value, a data silo forms.
Siloed data is a major factor preventing companies from putting their data to work, according to findings from WakeField Research. Of the 450 data scientists and analytics executives Wakefield surveyed, 69 percent believe that much of their company’s data ends up trapped either on premises or at the edge.
There are a number of ways for companies to break down their data silos and gain critical business insights. Three in particular stand out.
1. Data must come first
Moving data to the cloud as fast as possible is a proven way for companies to analyze valuable sensor data and drive business impact. Yet many organizations are not clear on how best to move and unlock data’s value.
Choosing the right tools and partners to start will enable your business-critical data to flow freely — even during petabyte-scale migration — and will prepare you to build a modern platform that can leverage this data for competitive advantage. Here are three steps to help you get started:
- Clarify the underlying drivers for moving the data and map your approach to those drivers.
- Seek ways to move datasets early in the process to expedite data science in the cloud.
- Explore options to automate the data movement and ensure that the data lands in the target cloud environment quickly.
2. Invest in cloud-agnostic solutions
According to the Gartner survey Why Organizations Choose a Multicloud Strategy, 81 percent of the respondents said they are working with two or more cloud service providers.
A multicloud strategy offers significant benefits, such as access to more regions and data; access to the latest innovations and services, such as storage as a service, compute as a service, and more; the freedom from being locked into one vendor; and support for data sovereignty for global enterprises that span multiple regions.
However, the true benefits of multicloud will not be realized until data can be processed, analyzed, and managed across clouds and borderless regions. Accenture says in its report Unlocking Trapped Value in Data that cross-cloud management can be done if enterprises take three actions as part of their overall transformation to cloud:
Develop a robust unified data strategy. As data complexity widens the gap between business and IT goals, enterprises should integrate their data strategy into the business, its culture, and its processes. They should also collaborate with experienced partners who can help enterprises assess their data maturity and map their data journey to become data-driven organizations. By understanding their company’s data maturity, data leaders can invest in the right data and AI tools and formulate the right data strategy to realize the full potential of their investments.
Invest in AI-backed cloud data management platforms. By integrating data from multiple sources, platforms such as Google Cloud Platform’s BigQuery platform as a service provide a serverless, scalable, multicloud data warehouse for business agility. Because Google conducts provisioning behind the scenes, enterprises can focus on data and analysis instead of worrying about upgrading, securing, or managing the infrastructure.
Whichever data management platform is selected, built-in AI and ML tools are critical to enabling advanced analytics at scale and helping businesses learn, predict, respond, and continuously optimize faster — as well as drive new efficiencies and revenue opportunities.
Foster a data-driven culture. Becoming a data-driven company starts with top management, including the data leaders, who must both understand the value that data adds to the business and permeate that value throughout the organization’s processes and culture. Data leaders must be part of discussions regarding strategy, investments, and key initiatives. The ideal CDO is someone who is entrepreneurial; understands business; thinks both analytically and about new products through a data lens; sees data as the new capital; and ensures regulatory compliance, data management, data governance, and the ethical use of data.
3. Hire the right talent
A lack of technical skills is a leading reason preventing companies from maximizing the value of their data. According to the Wakefield survey, 39 percent of respondents say that they don’t have the necessary skills to move and unlock their data. Despite this, there are a number of ways to address the skills shortage. Deloitte details six ways to tackle the cloud-crunch talent. We’ve highlighted the top three:
Bridge the gap between academia and corporate. Deloitte found that 95 percent of colleges and universities cannot meet urgent technology training needs because university technology curriculum takes roughly two years to develop or change. Given the high velocity of tech innovation, higher education cannot keep up. Stronger partnerships among universities, businesses, and cloud providers are recommended to help develop up-to-the-minute learning that combines deep technical training with a singular business strategy.
Reskill and upskill existing employees; train new hires at the front end. In the workplace, Deloitte recommends identifying employees with technology skills and interests. For example, upskill Java programmers in cloud-native development. What matters most is a keen interest and basic aptitude in technology, not where workers sit within the organization. Also, provide in-depth training for new hires before they begin their jobs and align the training to personas and roles. Include skills-based and simulation training and apply it to real-world use cases and challenging problems.
Build more builders. Let your developers experiment with new technology and architectures to build custom cloud-based solutions that can both differentiate the business and drive innovation and outcomes, rather than having them focus only on application maintenance and support. Then, encourage developers to get creative with code. So, for instance, instead of configuring existing package software, developers can build new solutions in the cloud, ones that are nimble and easily altered.
Activate data for future success
Despite the challenges organizations face with data activation, data leaders are still finding ways to generate revenue and ROI from their company’s data. Even though a majority of the Wakefield Research respondents say that much of the data at their company goes to waste, nearly all say that they’ve been able to use their data to identify new revenue streams. And almost 77 percent say that the revenue streams created by the data generated 40 percent more revenue than expected, demonstrating that investments in data activation can yield positive results that fuel business growth.
Chris Pemberton, VP of Marketing, WANdisco
Chris has deep expertise in modern B2B technology marketing and connecting brands with buyers through powerful messaging, content, demand gen, and digital experiences. He has led content strategy with Gartner and Charles Schwab as well as digital marketing and demand-gen programs for Persado AI, SANS Institute, and NextHealth Technologies. He delivered double-digit traffic, lead, and revenue growth for GU Energy Labs and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Chris spent years advising C-level technology executives while at the Corporate Executive Board (now Gartner) and holds an MBA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies as well as certificates in advanced digital marketing analytics.