Here’s what Formula One racing can teach you about Digital Transformation
Matthew Johnston, Area Vice President, ASEAN & Korea, Commvault
Soon, the streets of Singapore will serve as a circuit for another exciting Formula One race. Just like in Formula One racing, where drivers race to the finish line and compete for pole position, digital transformation is being adopted by businesses so they can ensure their organisation achieve a strong market position above its closest competitors.
With the expansion of digital lifestyles, the world is generating more data than ever. This brings new challenges and tremendous opportunities for businesses to store, manage, protect and leverage their data. For businesses, this unprecedented rush of data is a double-edged sword. On one hand, data-related issues can cause inefficiencies that may see the business lagging behind competitors, or damage through data loss and breaches. On the other, data can become a strategic asset and bring huge benefits to companies, if managed well.
According to IDC, 60 percent of Asia Pacific’s top 1,000 enterprises will have digital transformation (DX) at the centre of their corporate strategy by the end of 2017. In fact, two-thirds of Asia-based CIOs will initiate a data and governance transformation to turn information into a competitive business differentiator.
As big data becomes more mainstream, business and technology leaders are shifting their focus away from hype to finding value. Gartner’s survey found that more than 80 percent of its respondents weren’t sure whether the ROI of their data expenses would be positive or negative, making it difficult to even ascertain the value of big data projects.
So, in today’s hyper-digital era where digital transformation is set to disrupt every industry, how can companies ensure that they emerge champions in the digital revolution? How can businesses efficiently extract value from data, without increasing cost and complexity? Taking some cues from the F1, here’re some tips for businesses embarking on their digital transformation journey.
Playing the data game requires team spirit
F1 is not a solo sport. Behind the driver, there are many others responsible for managing the commercial and technical aspects of, not just the races, but the business. It was revealed that in 2013, the Red Bull Racing team had as many as 525 people working behind the scenes.
Likewise, playing the data game also requires team effort. For the majority of businesses, true transformation begins when an organisation comes together to understand data and how it can make each employee’s job easier and better. Only when data becomes part of the DNA of an organisation can the full potential of it be realised.
According to IDC, 40 percent of companies across Asia Pacific are still managing backup, recovery, data protection and analytics strategies at a departmental level. Businesses need to move from a siloed app data management approach to an integrated one. There’s no better time than now to get all players in the business – human resources, operations, and finance, among others – in on the game plan.
Is your team speaking the same language?
Pit stops happen quickly. Pit crews with different complementary skills come together and work collaboratively to clean, fix and change gears in a matter of seconds. Now – imagine if they don’t speak the same language and aren’t attuned to what the other is doing. That would make each pit stop a disastrous one for the entire team.
Effective communication between your IT team and the rest of the business is key. A common vocabulary and equipping teams with the necessary data skills is essential to fostering a data-driven culture.
Management should do its part by insisting on data-based reports from all departments, instead of accepting bare opinions or gut-feels. It is only by connecting all key processes – problem definition, solution approach and design, and action/change management with insights from data – that organisations can fully leverage massive amounts of data as a strategic asset to improve existing models.
Build your winning team
As the workload for in-house data management teams increases, companies may look at IT Outsourcing (ITO) as a viable way to achieve better economic outcomes. Research and Markets forecasts that the ITO market in Asia Pacific will grow at a CAGR of 5.8 percent between 2016 and 2020. ITO services help organisations save cost and reduce efficiencies by facilitating access to the right IT expertise, world-class best practices and innovative technologies, while allowing these businesses to focus on their core competencies. Institutions can enjoy the convenience of adopting a single data management platform, which provides an overview of all data analytics results, thus facilitating the decision-making process.
Data, no doubt, lies at the core of any digital transformation. CEOs must believe in the data strategies that they have invested in, and engage themselves in the technical, organisational and human aspects of digital reforms.
The pace of digital transformation shows no signs of slowing. Yet, many companies are still struggling to optimise their data investments and adjust to the speed of the information explosion. Given the stunning capabilities that the right data management solutions can deliver, CEOs must make sure their organisations are not left behind. The good news is that they don’t have to do this alone. With the right data management partner, the race for competitive advantage is still up for grabs.
 Transform or Be Left Behind: IDC Asia/Pacific Predicts Digital Transformation and 3rd Platform Adoption to Scale Massively in 2017. IDC. 2015
 The data-driven organization: unlocking greater value from data and minimizing its associated costs and risks. Commvault/IDC. 2015
 IT Outsourcing Market in APAC 2016-2020. Research and Markets. 2016
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