According to a recent forecast by Statista, the global big data market is on track to increase to 103 billion dollars by 2027, more than double its expected market size in 2018. Companies are becoming wise to the central role which data analytics will have to their success in the age of digitization, but the question remains weighted towards the ‘what’ of tech, rather than the ‘how’ and ‘why’. It’s not enough to have the latest software or the smartest app, progressive businesses must really grasp and understand their data - and therefore their customers - if they are to seize the golden opportunity that digitization presents to their future success.
Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption and awareness surrounding digitization and there's no question that it's imperative that companies transform in alignment with customer expectations and changed behavior. Before the pandemic, 53 percent of global organizations adopted big data technology, and as we move to a post-Covid-19 world, data will be even more crucial.
Research suggests that many companies are still failing to question the technological infrastructure in which data is being collected, jeopardizing the potential for driving business growth and understanding their customers better. They need to start questioning the technological infrastructure of the data they collect. For example, what do you want to learn about your business and your customer? Once a company turns their attention to targeted data collection, it can inform greater understanding of their customers and their needs.
Data analytics is a key to success in an age of digitalization. Presently, many businesses do not question their infrastructure, as they fail to ask the simple question of what they want to learn, before accelerating technological innovation and aggregating data.
Essentially, businesses are not harnessing data to its full potential. So, how can a redefined data strategy - that focuses on insights - correct this?
When it comes to de-hyping technology, it’s important to grasp the technology we are dealing with in the first place. Businesses need to redefine their data strategies and move away from collecting data for the sake of it. Let’s break down the three most commonly used ‘hyped’ technologies:
Edge computing is a form of computing that is done on.site or near a particular data source, minimizing the need for data to be processed in a remote data center. This is expected to improve response times and save bandwidth.
Self-service automation is the practice of connecting self-service to other business processes and platforms through a workload automation solution, or empowering end-users with a self-service portal to run preconfigured jobs and processes through an enterprise job scheduling solution.
Virtualization is the name given to the specific process of transforming physical IT infrastructure, such as network equipment and servers, and turning them into software alternatives. It’s a concept which is commonly used by consumers and businesses, for example, rather than adding more server racks, companies can instead keep their data in a virtual server which they can then access via the cloud.
Finding your why
At the moment, companies spend large sums updating their systems to be the newest, fastest and most advanced, with little thought given to the ‘why’. For instance, why do they rarely utilise this wealth of technology effectively?
When we buy a new, up to date and sophisticated item of technology or a new car, we always read the manual, but companies are rushing headlong into the new world of digital tech without first fully understanding what they are dealing with. The hype around new technologies should be for its practicality and utility; the ‘image’ or kudos should not be the priority, yet in many cases it is. People are too frequently starting with the ‘what’ instead of the ‘why’.
Some businesses are failing to question the technological infrastructure in which data is being collected, limiting the potential for driving business growth and understanding their customers better.
As leaders in technology, we should prioritize data-driven innovation that creates added value in the future. In a highly connected world, technology should be designed and adopted for a purpose.
In essence, data strategy is simple. It is all about learning how you can improve your business value and customer experience using data insights.
Looking at the current landscape and how companies are responding to this rapid transformation, it’s clear that focus needs to be shifted from what technology to adopt, to how to use and implement technologies that drive business impact.
Technology as a tool to achieve business outcomes
Ultimately, the big question companies should be asking themselves is how they can use technology as a tool to achieve growth and strong business outcomes. After all, that is the end goal of customer intelligence and data insights; using insights-based data collection to know your customer better. By analyzing data for patterns and trends, companies can thus future-proof their businesses for the digital age. In an ultra-connected world with new technologies disrupting all sectors, technology should be designed and adopted for a purpose.
Rather than seeking technology for technology’s sake, companies need to evaluate what tech is best suited for their needs. Each company’s needs will be different and indeed each set of customers will have different expectations. By selecting technologies that best apply to a company’s objectives, businesses can take advantage of the latest and greatest innovations. From 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) to Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) and Virtual Reality and big data analytics.
Human augmentation is another popular technological tool among many others that increase our overall productivity.
Meanwhile, the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, also known as Artificial Intelligence can be used to increase efficiencies and automate tasks.
Companies need to improve their ‘why’. Why should they be using a certain tech? How will the technology achieve their business objectives? My view is that companies must avoid implementing technology that does not meet their needs, and a targeted data strategy is essential to achieve this. It is all about learning how you can improve your business value and customer experience using data insights.
In a post-Covid-19 world, businesses looking to stand out from competitors and drive business outcomes need to rethink traditional data strategies, and focus on data-driven innovation that is aligned with customer expectations.
- Here are the best online collaboration tools available today
Jieke Pan, CTO and VP of Engineering, Mobiquity