Creating Queensland’s Data-Driven Enterprise

In 2018 the big data software market is estimated to be worth $14 billion U.S. dollars, while the overall market worth for data solutions stands at $42 billion U.S. dollars. By 2027 these numbers are set to triple in value. When looking at this trend, there is a clear agenda for technology teams to start to extract business value out of the information that it stores.

Data has become the biggest asset for any company take advantage of, and building a blueprint that allows teams to manage and deliver insights to the business is a critical agenda item for the CIO. This was the context for this month’s CIO Transformation Series: Creating The Data-Driven Enterprise, held in Brisbane with 10 of Queensland’s leading CIO’s and IT executives.

The luncheon was moderated by Hitachi Vanatara’s Pre-sales Director Chris Drieberg, and co-hosted by SureBridge IT, Hitachi Vantara and Innovatus Media. The topics discussed looked at the real impact data can have on different industries, as well as exposing some of the challenges that organisations are having in realising the value of their data.

The Power of Operational Data:

Drieberg presented a clearly defined challenge to the group to initiate discussion:

“Organisations need to move beyond just managing data, and take their business into the 21st century. It is time to understand how we make use of all of our data and apply it for business benefit,” Chris Drieberg

Chris Dreiberg, Hitachi Vantara

“Around Australia I see CIOs struggling with how they are managing data, from good management, comes the ability to apply real insights. I think that CIOs should not only be questioning how they can capture revenue through data, but how they can use data to determine where they can stop bleeding revenue.”

Drieberg and the group outlined that the initial challenge for many of their organisations was to make sense of the data they have, and put in place a blueprint which will enable their business to transition into an operation that is data-driven.

“Organisations need to move beyond just managing data, and take their business into the 21st century.” – Chris Drieberg, Hitachi Vantara

The group also discussed that, with the advent of IoT technologies, data points were increasing as much as the data itself. On top of this, the group identified the need for data to be accessible outside of the business as being critical:

“We have made the transition to API’s, which has been a huge success. It has enabled us to connect our data to both our customers, as well as our wider technology ecosystem which drives innovation,” one attendee noted.

Data and Innovation:

Don Meij, CEO of one of Queensland’s most innovative brands in Domino’s once stated that data “gives you comfort to focus on the future”, and that it was important to test assumptions when innovating.

On speaking on the role of data in driving innovation, Drieberg noted that:

“You need to be thinking about how you bring the customer experience into the innovation process.”

“When we are embarking on innovation projects it is critical to consider, what is the right data to collect? Most of the time it can be a little like a needle in a haystack.”

Drieberg said that organisations should start to transition away from the waterfall approach of building a data warehouse, and should concentrate efforts on creating a data-lake which enables scale and exploration.

“Regardless of what we are doing. The data has to have an impact on the customer experience. However it does not always have to have a direct impact, if you are driving efficiencies within your business, the eventual outcome will be on the customer.”

Cleanliness, Reliability and Accessibility:

Data collection and attribution should be addressed organisation-wide. With customer touchpoints increasing, it is critical for IT and the business to understand the parameters of the data they are collecting.

“There is a disconnect between the delivery of information across our systems. The challenge for us is looking at how we look

at our data engine and understand it holistically,” one attendee noted.

The group explored the challenges around data reliability and the impact this can have on objective decision making. Another problem uncovered was the continued infrastructure legacy that larger organisations are building digital systems on top of.

“We have been working through system-modernisation for many years. The enterprise is complex. I think the reality is that legacy systems within larger organisations will always remain,” one attendee noted.

“This is not just due to the speed at which we innovate, but also the speed at which technology innovates. I think it will be a constant challenge for CIOs and need to be managed as a strategy in itself.”

Although the group identified these areas as being significant roadblocks, if full executive buy-in was available, these issues can be managed and strategies built around them.

Conclusion:

Data retention and the applications of data is a topic of discussion for Australian business leaders moving forward. As the demand for high levels of data retention and analytics becomes commonplace for digital business leaders, the challenges addressed by the group need to be strategised at an executive level.

Those who attended the luncheon actively engaged with the discussion and expressed a keenness to embrace the oncoming challenges and changes that will take place over the next few years in their particular industries.

As these large companies begin to establish these changes and roll out new protocols for high data retention and analysis, more employees will see the shift in their respective roles towards using these data collected for research and development on whole new levels.

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