Enterprise Data Strategy Is The Bridge To The Post-Pandemic Economy


Nearly all senior business decision-makers report data strategies as essential to their organisations’ positive performance, including an average of 6 per cent higher profit growth

Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed how data has become a strategic asset, underpinning the success of organisations across the world.

Cloudera’s global research report found that organisations with mature enterprise data strategies in place for at least a year report higher profit growth at an average of 6 per cent, according to surveyed senior business decision makers (SDMs).

The report found that 96 per cent of SDMs reported that the way data is handled and managed has positively impacted their organisations’ performance, and close to two-thirds (64 per cent) reported stronger levels of resiliency from the presence of a mature data strategy. Both SDMs and IT decision-makers (ITDMs) 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,” said 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.”

The report examined the correlation between the maturity of an organisation’s enterprise data strategy — an organisation-wide, integrated, holistic strategy across all lines of business — and its business performance. It also explored the impact that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its uncertainties have on businesses.

Data Lifecycle Challenges Hinder Innovation

Visibility remains a key issue for organisations, with close to nine in ten (89 per cent) reporting secure, centralised governance and compliance over the entire lifecycle as being valuable when handling and managing data. Only 12 per cent 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 per cent), along with higher profit growth. Nearly all ITDMs (91 per cent) 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 telecom 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 per cent of their workforce will continue working remotely in the next year, organisations are investing in infrastructure to support hybrid working environments.

A majority (79 per cent) 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 per cent of ITDMs indicating their preference for multi-cloud architectures in 18 months’ time. With the hybrid data cloud, organisations can access and analyze data fast and with ease to make smarter, data-driven decisions to effectively meet the demands of today’s 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 per cent) believe that making sense of all data across hybrid, multi-cloud and on-premises architectures is or would be valuable.

This finding mirrors the sentiments of a majority of ITDMs (90 per cent), who report that managing data with at least some cloud capacity is a priority for their organisation. A similar majority (89 per cent) 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 (DEI) initiatives and organisational success.

The research found that thoughtful data collection and analytics contribute to the success of DEI initiatives. Nearly all ITDMs (96 per cent) and SDMs (95 per cent) believe that data and analytics are important to ensuring successful and effective DEI initiatives, and ninety-five percent (95 per cent) 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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