Yesterday, CIOs from Informatica, Qualcomm and UMASS Memorial Healthcare participated in a panel to discuss how to deliver business value from applications while managing “data deluge” – the ever increasing growth and fragmentation of data across the application portfolio. Having worked in the IT Applications area for 15 years, I know firsthand how big a challenge this can be for organizations.
We are experiencing an unprecedented growth in the sheer amount of data that can be made available. Sites like Facebook and Twitter provide exciting new insights into user preferences and habits and the move to electronic systems for utility companies and healthcare organizations means that an even larger set of information can be stored electronically for reference and used to gain new business insights. Even internal systems such as sales automation, marketing and support applications contribute to this overwhelming tide of data that can be extremely valuable but hard to unlock.
Companies that focus on creating and maintaining a single source of truth across applications find themselves with a competitive advantage that is invaluable in growing their business. The ability to tie together a 360 view of a customer, prospect, or company and continually update that profile with relevant, timely information can make the difference between success and failure.
How valuable would it be if your sales rep was able to go into an upsell opportunity armed with data from the support application that indicated that the customer had been struggling with reliability? Or if a Support agent was given insight from the Sales system that alerted him to a large pending opportunity for the customer whose case he was currently working on? Key initiatives such as determining customer lifetime value and improving customer satisfaction are only possible when you have clean, standardized and integrated data across the application stack.
At Informatica, we’ve been able to tackle these challenges using the same technologies that we make available to our customers. Solutions such as data quality, master data management and data integration are valuable technologies that our IT organization is using to overcome these hurdles and get more value out of our data. After hearing the discussion at the CIO panel, it’s clear that these challenges are only going to increase in scale and complexity and effective data management will be a key differentiator between companies that thrive in this Information Age, and those that merely survive.