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Few enterprises have clear strategy for information

The vast majority of businesses do not have a clear plan in place for how they will manage the information that comes into their organizations in the coming years, or how this can be used to drive growth.

This is according to research from Gartner, which found less than ten percent of enterprises have a true information strategy. Partha Iyengar, country manager for research in India at the firm, added that under half of respondents to the Gartner 2013 Worldwide CEO and Senior Executive Survey could provide an answer or name a technology when asked about the kinds of data they expect will be disruptive in the coming years.

He added: “The social internet, inexpensive sensors, the internet of things and other trends will cause an explosion in the types of information that are available. In this way, competition will increasingly be defined by differential access, control and value recognition and timely exploitation of information.”

As a result, it will be vital for organizations to adopt advanced data analytics solutions in order to make the most of this wide variety of information. Gartner identified several key points that must be addressed if such strategies are to be a success.

The first of these is making sure firms understand what kinds of information will drive value. With big data analytics able to assess such a large range of data, being able to pick out the most relevant metrics will be highly important.

Gartner added it is essential that firms have the right personal to develop creative innovations from this data and that they are offered the support they need to drive growth for the company.

Other issues that must be addressed include how the organization will “search, discover, conjoin and secure the new datasets and information streams that are becoming available”, while Gartner also said firms need to define who is in charge of monitoring the data and acting when key thresholds are passed, which make possible innovations that were not previously viable.

It will also be important to have robust security solutions in place to protect confidential and private details, as well as a clear grasp of the legal and social permissions that are needed in order to use data without being accused of invading customers’ privacy.

Mr Iyengar said: “The most enlightened boards and CEOs are beginning to understand the value potential [of data] – sometimes appointing chief data officers to exploit information assets more aggressively.”

He added firms that are less advanced with their understanding of what information can do for them are acting from a “position of concern”, where much of their focus is taken up with worries over a lack of governance and the potential for this to lead to reputational or regulatory problems.

To break down these barriers and move to higher levels of understanding of the value of information, Gartner recommended several straightforward methods. Among these is improving the visualization of data, as creative ways of doing this are set to play a key role in the coming age of information.

Gartner stated: “Companies that find better ways to represent complex information will win in better internal decision-making capability and in better service products to their customers.”