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Enterprise data strategy the bridge to post-pandemic economy - report

By Shannon Williams, Thu 9 Dec 2021

Enterprise data strategy is the bridge to the post-pandemic economy, according to a new report from Cloudera.

Cloudera has announced the findings of a global research report, which examines the correlation between the maturity of an organisation's enterprise data strategy (defined as an organisation-wide, integrated, holistic strategy across all lines of business) and its business performance. It also explores the impact that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its uncertainties have on businesses.

The research found that organisations with mature enterprise data strategies in place for at least 12 months report higher profit growth at an average of 5.97%, according to surveyed senior business decision makers. Ninety-six percent of SDMs reported that the way data is handled and managed has positively impacted their organisations' performance, and close to two-thirds (64%) reported stronger levels of resiliency from the presence of a mature data strategy. 

Both SDMs and IT decision-makers share similar views, recognising data as a strategic business resource, but these groups have differing opinions on operational processes and implementation.

"The presence of mature enterprise data strategies, optimised for hybrid and multi-cloud environments, generate better business outcomes," says Ram Venkatesh, chief technology officer at Cloudera. 

"Businesses look to data as an essential asset not only to make sense of the constant change and upheaval of today, but also to help prepare for what comes next," he says.

Mark Micallef, vice president of Asia Pacific and Japan, Cloudera. says that beyond improving productivity and reducing costs, augmenting the customer experience has been a key driver of digital transformation. 

"It goes without saying that data-driven businesses are better at understanding, communicating, and engaging with customers," he says.

"APAC businesses are acutely aware of this and the majority of businesses are using data and analytics to improve customer experience and satisfaction.  

"However, even as enterprises prioritise investments in tools and technologies to collect and analyse customer data for business insights, they need to have a holistic enterprise data strategy and an enterprise data cloud approach in place," Micallef says.

"Data is a strategic asset, and the right data strategy will allow enterprises to control costs and minimise risks while achieving competitive differentiation." 

The research shows that despite recognising data as a strategic asset, many businesses are still struggling to implement effective enterprise data strategies that efficiently manage growing data volumes and costs. 

"It is particularly concerning to see this in APAC, given that 95% of senior decision makers in the region see the value in making sense of all data across hybrid, multi-cloud and on-premises architectures - the highest among regions," says Micallef.

"As economies reopen, businesses will need to rethink their strategies to be able to drive their digital transformations in order to meet and exceed the expectations of todays customers as well as their own employees," he says.

The report showed data can also have a positive impact on organisational culture. With many organisations looking to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, data can be used to drive DEI objectives and promote change.  

Data Lifecycle Challenges Hinder Innovation

Visibility remains a key issue for organisations, with close to nine in ten (89%) reporting secure, centralised governance and compliance over the entire lifecycle as being valuable when handling and managing data. Only twelve percent of surveyed ITDMs report that their organisation interacts with all stages of the data lifecycle process something immensely helpful in helping organisations achieve an enterprise data strategy. Without complete control and visibility over every aspect of data, organisations will lack key capabilities required to drive innovation.

Effective Enterprise Data Strategies Remain Key

Organisations see the value in enterprise data strategies but struggle to make them effective. Organisations utilising enterprise data strategies for more than a year reported them to be very effective (63%), along with higher profit growth. Nearly all ITDMs (91%) whose organisations have an enterprise data strategy in place agree that their current strategy is key to their business resiliency. SDMs surveyed report an average of $384,962 lost annually due to missed opportunities involving data, with the Telecommunications industry reporting the highest average annual loss of $6,617,348.

 The Future Is Hybrid

The report shows an anticipated shift to hybrid cloud in the next 18 months. With both SDMs and ITDMs reporting that 43.07% of their workforce will continue working remotely in the next year,  organisations are investing in infrastructure to support hybrid working environments. A majority (79%) of ITDMs organisations are looking to house their data and performance analytics on hybrid architectures. 

Among cloud options, multi-cloud emerged as a clear favourite, with 44% of ITDMs indicating their preference for multi-cloud architectures in eighteen (18) months time. With the hybrid data cloud, organisations can access and analyse data fast and with ease to make smarter, data-driven decisions to effectively meet the demands of todays hyper-competitive business climate.

Accessing and managing data from multiple sources and locations will give organisations the control and flexibility of utilising a hybrid workforce while still being able to run business as usual. Nearly all SDMs (92%) believe that making sense of all data across hybrid, multi-cloud and on-premises architectures is or would be valuable. T

his finding mirrors the sentiments of a majority of ITDMs (90%), who report that managing data with at least some cloud capacity is a priority for their organisation. A similar majority (89%) believe that organisations implementing a hybrid architecture as part of its data strategy will gain a competitive advantage.

Data Drives Success Beyond Profits

Utilising data and analytics can yield more benefits than simply increasing profit margins or gaining a competitive advantage. Most organisations recognise the vital link between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and organisational success.  

The research found that thoughtful data collection and analytics contribute to the success of DEI initiatives. Nearly all ITDMs (96%) and SDMs (95%) believe that data and analytics are important to ensuring successful and effective DEI initiatives, and 95% of both ITDMs and SDMs agree that DEI initiatives contribute to organisational success. 

Organisations with effective enterprise data strategies in place are better able to utilise data and analytics to benchmark and evaluate employee diversity programs. With greater visibility over diversity within organisations, comes better decision-making, greater innovation and higher engagement in the workplace.
 

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