4 Ways Executives Can Master the Use of Data to Win in Today’s Digital World

By Chris Purcell, Analyst Relations at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

If you ask Google the question, “What is digital business,” it takes less than a second for the search engine to serve up more than 75 million pages of answers. That’s according to Peter Burris, who explains the concept in a white paper entitled, The executive role in digital business technology decisions.

Burris, the Chief Research Officer and General Manager of Wikibon, SilicanANGLE’s research team, believes that consumers are forcing organizations across industries, sizes, and geographies to become more digital. And the businesses that succeed will be the ones that can master the use of data.

Yet, how exactly does a company master the role of data to become a winning digital business? In the paper, Burris discusses 4 ways:

  1. Apply data to differentially create and keep customers.

Data should be thought of as fuel for your business — an extremely valuable asset. As such, it needs to be gathered, refined, and put to use. For example, data from orders can be refined and then used to better predict supply chain, product management, and customer engagement actions. Those businesses that can gather more data – and refine it better than their competitors – will be more successful. This means every IT purchasing decision should be evaluated with the goal of gathering more data as a means of creating new revenue streams. Instead of just thinking about buying hardware, software, and services, business leaders should think, “How does this technology selection increase the value of data options relative to other technologies?”

  1. Build a foundation for digital business success.

Every business possesses the necessary capabilities to create and keep customers, yet what leads to success in today’s digital realm? Burris explains that you must be able to turn analog data into digital data to be analyzed, processed, and then turned into actionable insights. The emerging Internet of Things and People (IoT&P) will help by using sensors that continuously monitor and record real work and turn it into digital data. Big analytics (or big data) and machine learning will help by transforming data feeds into actionable insights and models.

Of course, these insights and models must be acted upon. Burris explains, “Just as analog data must be translated into digital data to be processed by digital technology…big analytics must be transduced back into a form suitable for enacting an event in the real world.”

  1. Embrace cloud computing – but you can’t do everything from the public cloud.

To some degree, all digital businesses will employ cloud computing. Yet, how it implements cloud is vital. Burris explains, “Public cloud is not always the best option. Contrary to much popular commentary, your digital business designs will require a range of implementation choices.” That’s because public cloud deployment is not always possible or practical. When you are using applications that require low-latency, the laws of physics make it impossible to send data back and forth fast enough to and from a distant public cloud. In terms of practicality, many legacy applications can’t easily be moved to the cloud. Lastly, some applications, data, and intellectual property should be kept on premises because they are central to your value proposition.

If you decide to keep key applications on premises, you will still benefit from new innovations in cloud technology. The benefits of cloud-like technologies are permeating new on-premises solutions, giving you options such as simple integration with public cloud, subscription payment models, and elastic capacity.

  1. Yes, execs must play a pivotal role in cloud decisions.

Successful digital businesses will demand spending lots of money on computing over the next decade. Yet, the real question is not how much you will spend, but who will decide how that money is spent? Burris is adamant that as digital business becomes increasingly central to achieving business outcomes, executives must get more involved.

“As customers seek greater digital engagement, your digital business capabilities increasingly become the basis of your brand.” By taking a more active role in these decisions, executives can ensure that customers, not technology, are the focus of IT spending. And as technology becomes more intertwined with the company’s business model, execs need to step up to ensure that digital assets are effectively merchandised.

Simple, insightful IT visibility for executives 

Mastering the role of data in any organization can be intimidating to anyone, particularly for an executive. Yet to be successful in your role – and to ensure the success of your business -- it is absolutely necessary.

As Burris explained, recent innovations are making traditional IT, private, and public cloud easier to deploy and manage. HPE just announced the industry’s first multi-cloud management solution, HPE OneSphere, a tool that provides executives with the transparency they need to make better IT spending and deployment decisions. Real-time, cross-cloud insights enable CIOs and lines of business to increase resource utilization and reduce costs, improving efficiency across the board.

For example, HPE OneSphere collects, tags and displays usage metrics for all deployed resources. It also provides month-to-date and previous month usage costs for both private and public cloud providers. And with these improved insights, business executives can better master the role of data in their organization.

The role of data in business is growing every second. Burris concludes, “Going forward, the businesses that win and the executives that succeed will master the role of data in business.”

HPE has assembled an array of resources that are helping businesses succeed in a hybrid IT world. Learn about HPE’s approach to managing hybrid IT by checking out this new video on HPE OneSphere. And to find out how HPE can help you determine a workload placement strategy that meets your service level agreements, visit HPE Pointnext.


Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.