Your business environment is more challenging than ever. Globalization has led to increased operational complexity. New technology and automation have increased fraud and compliance risk, at a time when customers are demanding innovative new products and services, and shareholders are demanding that companies unlock the greatest value from all their physical, intellectual, and digital assets. There’s no break—no time to breathe before the next problem hits.

The challenges are exacerbated by fragmented analytics capabilities and architectures. Decision-making is hobbled by poor insight into customer behavior and operations. Innovation is stifled and customer satisfaction plummets. Losses from compliance violations and fraud mount, and supply chains become sluggish. This lethal mix leaves many companies foundering and unable to satisfy anyone—shareholders, customers, or regulatory agencies.

Achieving High-Impact Outcomes

To solve your problems, and gain the deeper insights to create the high-impact, improved outcomes critical to thrive in today’s digitally transformed marketplace, you need three things: the right data, a technical architecture design that stresses flexibility and scalability, and the right environment to store your massive data workloads and provide access when and where it’s needed. Simple, right? No; but it is doable.

The Right Data

Keys to HIOsCustomer demands to innovate and provide better, more personalized, customer service—coupled with shareholder demands to increase share value and speed their ROI—have created a critical need for companies to better leverage data for decision-making. However, amidst the inundation of big data, it’s often difficult to tease out valuable data from noise.

To get the data you need, you first have to understand your business needs. What data do you need to drive value and create those high-impact outcomes that will help you thrive? How can you use that data to improve your business processes and customer service? How can you use it to innovate? To avoid and mitigate risk? How can you use it to drive operational excellence? To optimize the value of your assets? Ask these questions, and get the right framework to identify the data you’ll need. But one caveat: do it quickly, so that you can move on to the next step: designing the architecture you need to leverage that data.

The Right Architecture

Once you’ve identified the data you need, it’s crucial to ensure that you have the right architecture to access it, store it, and manipulate it. That architecture design should have three key components: it should have the ability to accommodate multi-structured data; it should be flexible to incorporate new technologies as they arise, and as your needs change; and it should be scalable to grow as you do.

It’s also imperative to be honest with yourself about where you are, and where you can realistically go over multiple time horizons. Construct an infrastructure and analytics maturity model. If your capabilities are relatively immature, don’t expect to have infused analytics and a genius technical infrastructure in six months. Assess where you are, and where you want to be in six months, a year, etc., then build an achievable roadmap to get there. Remember, though—it’s important to show value quickly both from a competitive standpoint and to satisfy C-suite demands and access the money you need to build your optimal state.

The Right Environment

Most companies expend enormous human and capital resources each year just to keep pace with the technological changes needed to meet data and market demands. What’s more, the pace of change is growing exponentially, and many organizations struggle to keep up.

It doesn’t have to be that way. More and more CIOs are taking advantage of digitization and leveraging the transformative value of the cloud By moving your analytics applications and technical infrastructure to the cloud, you can gain a flexible, scalable platform that helps you implement your desired technical architecture—now and in the future—and achieve cost-effectiveness and certainty. When you don’t have to wrangle with applications and infrastructure management, you free up resources to focus on proving the business value of your efforts by achieving those high-impact outcomes that drive success.

Take the Leap

The pace of business change is faster than ever. Digitalization and globalization are upending the market for all businesses. Those who keep up will keep their competitive edge in a world where that edge is knife thin. Those who don’t will…well, you know.

I’d love to hear what you think. Please comment here, connect with me on Linkedin and Twitter, or email me at anuraag.jain@teradata.com.

General manager of Teradata Consulting and Go-To-Market Analytic Solutions. Thought leader in analytics, business intelligence, big data, and business transformation. My passion is helping my clients drive value through data and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

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