Maximize the data and digitization revolution

The global pandemic has forced businesses of all sizes to rethink and restructure their operations, both physically and digitally. One of the most obvious results of this transformation is the growing reliance on data to preserve business continuity, improve profitability and improve overall operational efficiency. The drastic change in circumstances has also made it clear that harnessing data can provide a fast and efficient way to gain competitive advantage in an increasingly vigorous and dynamic business environment.

However, companies that have transitioned to a data-driven operating model must now move from what was essentially a “survival phase”. They need to assess how to maximize the opportunities available to become a data-driven business, while considering the potential challenges.

By digging deep into how fast digital change must be, companies can avoid one of the biggest challenges: inadvertently embracing “tech debt” made up of quick and expensive fixes that don’t guarantee future success. Consistently mapping the speed of digitization against agreed targets is a good first step, but it is also important to understand how an investment can be sized, safely and securely, to ensure that business continuity is maintained. .

For businesses to get the most from their data, it is crucial that they maintain a balance between being ‘driven’ by the data and being ‘informed’ by the data. The latter helps companies make the right decisions at the right time through access to real-time information. It makes data accessible and focused on service level provisions to ensure a positive impact on internal teams as well as customers. A range of technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics, have a role to play in improving the customer experience through the delivery of data-driven information.

Avoid debt during the digital shift

Looking again at the concept of “tech debt,” a recent study by McKinsey found that 60% of CIOs surveyed believed their organization’s tech debt had grown significantly over the past three years. This problem is worsening as between 10% and 20% of technology budgets for new products are diverted to solving problems arising from existing technology debt, according to the research.

The origins of this responsibility are usually easy to identify by studying how companies initially adopted technology as a way to overcome various problems and challenges. Back then, many implementations used quick fixes and off-the-shelf solutions, resulting in poorly integrated applications. Technologies from different vendors were also frequently bundled together in an unplanned manner, resulting in an execution that did not perform effectively as a whole.

Rather than providing achievable improvements, many executions quickly took a toll on productivity and customer experience. Organizations have since learned (often at great cost) that spending money to improve understanding and planning for a service or application is generally cheaper than fixing a poorly designed implementation once it has gone. started to fail. The same lesson applies to maximizing data usage.

Organize a date with data

The majority of companies remain committed to effectively building a data-rich future. In part, this relies on the large-scale adoption of new technologies such as advanced computing and machine learning (ML). The combination of new data and enhanced analytical information provided by these technologies has the power to transform businesses. One of the many examples is ML-based automation, which can free staff from routine tasks, allowing them to focus on more productive uses of their time.

Another emerging technology for widespread adoption is Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. Connected devices are already becoming a driver of data transition for different types of businesses. As a result, many industries gain valuable customer data by integrating data from their connected devices into the overall customer experience. For example, the data obtained in this way can then be used to ensure that companies are delivering the best service and experience for the changing and evolving needs of each customer.

With the growing data boom and the adoption of the latest generation of digital tools and services, businesses are now well positioned to optimize their processes and take the customer experience to a new level.

But it is clear that one has to be careful while using these tools and services. As with all technology implementations, their adoption must be scalable, secure, and efficient. And they must also be relevant. In the rush to digitize, reckless companies risk deploying tools that are not suited to their business needs, resulting in avoidable upfront costs as well as ongoing maintenance costs. To compound potential problems, inadequate security delivery can also hamper a digital transformation, increasing costs and damaging the bottom line.

While many tech companies have improved their business offerings to help their customers cope with these rapid developments, there is no substitute for detailed long-term planning to get the most out of what’s on offer. And that planning must start now, as organizations with effective data, cloud and digitization roadmaps will gain a leg up on their competition. They will also be in the best position to take advantage of post-Covid-19 growth as the economy begins to recover.

Before embarking on the next step in their digitization journey, businesses of all sizes need to plan and implement the right operational resilience databases to ensure the best possible results for their time and investment. In a time of increased competition and growing post-pandemic opportunities, making bad technology investment decisions not only adds avoidable costs now, but is also potentially damaging in the long run. Companies that plan their use of data to preserve business continuity, improve operational efficiency and increase their competitive advantage will emerge as clear leaders in the new business landscape.

Mark Woods, Chief Technical Advisor for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Splunk

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Norma A. Roth