Organizations are facing rising technology implementation bills and maintenance costs associated with legacy and new IT systems to try and piece together a full picture of their business activities –and it’s giving budget holders huge headaches.
These pains are unnecessary because it’s not technology that should be used as a means to an end for business leaders. Instead, they should focus on data and how best to leverage it as a corporate asset.
Data is the fuel that runs businesses. It brings substantially more value than just technology on its own. Businesses must learn how to exploit data to drive innovation and growth.
The “technology versus data” conundrum for me is the same as F1 racing.
All cars being equal, it is the driver’s knowledge and skill that wins the race thanks in large part to the car’s dashboard feeding the driver with information to make informed decisions. Data SHOULD be seen as the differentiator in a business. The imperative is knowing how to use data. In doing so, significant business value is created by knowledge workers.
But, most businesses don’t know how to harness the power of data effectively. Given the vastly increasing quantities of data that are overwhelming enterprises, it’s no longer an option to stand idly by and let data go underutilized.
In fact, we’re about to launch a new and exciting maturity model that helps organizations understand the potential of data and how to get there. This is often easier said than done, especially when you consider how many business leaders have traditional views of how value is defined and measured: data doesn’t quite fit into their plans because they are focused on technology as the saviour.
From my years of experience working with organizations, I’ve found that many perceive value primarily in terms of return-on-investment (ROI). “How long will it take for me to get this investment back?” is a common question asked by buyers of technology.
This is something of a misnomer when businesses are looking at the value of data – data analysis itself provides significant value, but is not easily quantified in terms of direct fiscal value if information is not being used and measured by organizations. Employees can calculate the cost of a poor decision – but it’s difficult to determine the opportunity cost.
Closer to home, and working with our clients, it’s become clear that high performance organizations are those that value data – and know how to use it to their advantage
Arguably, most organizations have been misled by industry analysts who have been hired to promote vendor solutions and expensive technologies. They have missed out on more agile solutions that can help them harness their data – giving knowledge workers the insight and tools to reach the chequered flag ahead of competition.
While technology has its place in organizations, it is data that should be used as the key to unlock your performance potential.
Here are few tips when assessing whether your organization is truly exploiting the value of its data – and not just relying on technology: