Tag Archives: data strategy

CES, Digital Strategy and Architecture: Are You Ready?

CES, Digital Strategy and Architecture

CES, Digital Strategy and Architecture

CES, the International Consumer Electronics show is wrapping up this week and the array of new connected products and technologies was truly impressive. “The Internet of Things” is moving from buzzword to reality.  Some of the major trends seen this week included:

  • Home Hubs from Google, Samsung, and Apple (who did not attend the show but still had a significant impact).
  • Home Hub Ecosystems providing interoperability with cars, door locks, and household appliances.
  • Autonomous cars, and intelligent cars
  • Wearable devices such as smart watches and jewelry.
  • Drones that take pictures and intelligently avoid obstacles.  …Including people trying to block them.  There is a bit of a creepy factor here!
  • The next generation of 3D printers.
  • And the intelligent baby pacifier.  The idea is that it takes the baby’s temperature, but I think the sleeper hit feature on this product is the ability to locate it using GPS and a smart phone. How much money would you pay to get your kid to go to sleep when it is time to do so?

Digital Strategies Are Gaining Momentum

There is no escaping the fact that the vast majority of companies out there have active digital strategies, and not just in the consumer space. The question is: Are you going to be the disruptor or the disruptee?  Gartner offered an interesting prediction here:

“By 2017, 60% of global enterprise organizations will execute on at least one revolutionary and currently unimaginable business transformation effort.”

It is clear from looking at CES, that a lot of these products are “experiments” that will ultimately fail.  But focusing too much on that fact is to risk overlooking the profound changes taking place that will shake out industries and allow competitors to jump previously impassible barriers to entry.

IDC predicted that the Internet of Things market would be over $7 Trillion by the year 2020.  We can all argue about the exact number, but something major is clearly happening here.  …And it’s big.

Is Your Organization Ready?

A study by Gartner found that 52% of CEOs and executives say they have a digital strategy.  The problem is that 80% of them say that they will “need adaptation and learning to be effective in the new world.”  Supporting a new “Internet of Things” or connected device product may require new business models, new business processes, new business partners, new software applications, and require the collection and management of entirely new types of data.  Simply standing up a new ERP system or moving to a cloud application will not help your organization to deal with the new business models and data complexity.

Architect’s Call to Action

Now is the time (good New Year’s resolution!) to get proactive on your digital strategy.  Your CIO is most likely deeply engaged with her business counterparts to define a digital strategy for the organization. Now is the time to be proactive in terms of recommending the IT architecture that will enable them to deliver on that strategy – and a roadmap to get to the future state architecture.

Key Requirements for a Digital-ready Architecture

Digital strategy and products are all about data, so I am going to be very data-focused here.  Here are some of the key requirements:

  • First, it must be designed for speed.  How fast? Your architecture has to enable IT to move at the speed of business, whatever that requires.  Consider the speed at which companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook are making IT changes.
  • It has to explicitly directly link the business strategy to the underlying business models, processes, systems and technology.
  • Data from any new source, inside or outside your organization, has to be on-boarded quickly and in a way that it is immediately discoverable and available to all IT and business users.
  • Ongoing data quality management and Data Governance must be built into the architecture.  Point product solutions cannot solve these problems.  It has to be pervasive.
  • Data security also has to be pervasive for the same reasons.
  • It must include business self-service.  That is the only way that IT is going to be able to meet the needs of business users and scale to the demands of the changes required by digital strategy.

Resources:

For a webinar on connecting business strategy to the architecture of business transformation see; Next-Gen Architecture: A “Business First” Approach for Agile Architecture.   With John Schmidt of Informatica and Art Caston, founder of Proact.

For next-generation thinking on enterprise data architectures see; Think “Data First” to Drive Business Value

For more on business self-service for data preparation and a free software download.

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Does Your Organization Have the Data Architecture to Succeed?

Does Your Organization Have the Data Architecture to Succeed

Does Your Org Have the Data Architecture to Succeed?

Adrian Gates was facing a major career challenge. Auditors hired by his company, Major Healthcare, to assess the risks the company faces, came back with “data quality” as the #1 risk. Adrian had been given the job of finding out exactly what the “data quality” issue was and how to address it.

Adrian gathered experts and built workgroups to dig into the issue and do root cause analysis.  The workgroups came back with some pretty surprising results. 

  • Most people expected  that “incorrect data” (missing, out of date, incomplete, or wrong data) would be the main problem.  What they found was that this was only #5 on the list of issues.
  • The #1 issue was “Too much data.”  People working with the data could not find the data they needed because there was too much data available, and it was hard to figure out which was the data they needed.
  • The #2 issue was that people did not know the meaning of data.  And because people had different interpretations of the data, the often produced analyses with conflicting results.  For example, “claims paid date” might mean the date the claim was approved, the date the check was cut or the date the check cleared. These different interpretations resulted in significantly different numbers.
  • In third place was the difficulty in accessing the data.  Their environment was a forest of interfaces, access methods and security policies.   Some were documented and some not.

In one of the workgroups, a senior manager put the problem in a larger business context;

 “Not being able to leverage the data correctly allows competitors to break ground in new areas before we do. Our data in my opinion is the ‘MOST’ important element for our organization.”

What started as a relatively straightforward data quality project became a more comprehensive enterprise data management initiative that could literally change the entire organization.  By the project’s end, Adrian found himself leading the data strategy of the organization. 

This kind of story is happening with increasing frequency across all industries as all businesses become more digital, the quantity and complexity of data grows, and the opportunities to offer differentiated services based on data grow.  We are entering an era of data-fueled organizations where the competitive advantage will go to those who use their data ecosystem better than their competitors.

Gartner is predicting that we are entering an era of increased technology disruption.  Organizations that focus on data as their competitive edge will have the advantage.  It has become clear that a strong enterprise data architecture is central to the strategy of any industry-leading organization.

For more future-thinking on the subject of enterprise data management and data architecure see Think ‘Data First” to Drive Business Value                

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Big Data Meets Sentiment Analysis!

So now you are interested in proposing Big Data projects, but are skeptical about getting business excited about yet another IT project?  Somehow the business did not want to talk about data integration, data quality and master data management despite all the homework you did to propose a plan of action? Enter sentiment analysis.  (more…)

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Posted in Big Data, Business Impact / Benefits, CIO | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments