Virtually every organisation in the world is under pressure to become more resilient amidst the continued risk of a global economic recession this year. One of the most effective ways of doing so is to unlock the true potential of their data to become more efficient and introduce innovative ways of doing business. This is according to Andreas Bartsch, the Head of Innovation and Services at PBT Group.
“Of course, there will always be the temptation to implement advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the like to rapidly transform data strategies. However, it is vital that business leaders return to the basics of why they should implement data strategies in the first place. This requires taking a step back to understand how data informs the strategic direction of the business and even the technologies it should consider implementing,” he says.
A data strategy entails identifying and understanding the data that is being worked with. Having this in place can improve the way a business acquires, stores, manages, shares, and uses data. The underlying processes and the governance involved in how all this is managed are all key components of such a data strategy. When taking into account the broader context of a possible global financial recession, then organisations should consider aligning their data strategies with a focus on business resilience.
“Doing so means that the data strategy not only forms part of the foundation of the organisation, but ensures the entire business is involved, better informs its forecasting, and enables the organisation to link its data strategy to the broader business strategy to identify the interventions essential to transform into a more resilient enterprise,” says Bartsch.
The adoption of the cloud and related technologies have contributed to a shift taking place in the technological landscape especially as how it relates to data strategies. In recent years, some organisations opted to adopt ‘attractive’ cloud technologies without doing a proof of concept or proof of value first. Invariably, this resulted in reworking or even completely changing their cloud service providers.
“These organisations quickly realised that the ownership of data initiatives must reside within the business and not the IT departments. Change for its own sake means very little if data strategies cannot improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Moving between cloud service providers will not necessarily unlock business value or introduce resilience if there is not sight of the overall strategic direction,” says Bartsch.
If there is no understanding of what the data is to begin with, then no business can hope to succeed in leveraging it for strategic growth. Of course, having the right tools to do the job are vital, but a shift is required from leadership to drive the new way of thinking from the top down.
“When this realisation occurs and leadership makes the decision to better understand the data at hand, then the likes of a cloud data migration framework can be leveraged to combine the promise of cloud technologies with resiliency inside the organisation. Such a framework provides a best practice, practical, business focused, sliced approach, with an iterative, agile migration process. It can encompass everything from the cloud migration strategy itself to decommissioning when needed,” continues Bartsch.
Even though implementing a data strategy is not without its challenges, it remains an essential component to best position a business on its journey in becoming a data driven organisation. Organisations can use this to better identify the use cases that will provide business value. In turn, they can implement these in smaller iterations to assess and identify how best to adjust the overarching direction.
“By using a data strategy to transform the business into a more resilient operation, organisations will position themselves to better implement the relevant advanced technologies to realise business value, incorporate fresh employee efficiencies, and unlock future revenue opportunities,” concludes Bartsch.
PBT Group is a technology and cloud agnostic Data and Analytics services and solutions provider. With more than 890 highly skilled consultants, PBT Group has 20 years’ experience across 27 countries, 5 continents, and a variety of industries. As a Data Specialist organisation, we provide a one-stop data service offering and pride ourselves on long-term client relationships. PBT Group operates in Africa, Europe and Australia, providing services and creating solutions that capitalise on data-driven insights, to make well-timed, intuitive business decisions that consistently position our clients ahead of the curve.