Every organization–not just digital companies–generate more data than they can analyze, track, index, control or manage.

This is a boring topic. It is nowhere near as "sexy" as Artificial Intelligence or automation, but it is the fundamental element to any digital transformation. An effective data management strategy dramatically simplifies implementation for AI, automation, analytics, and many other digital innovations. Where as a lack of a data management will virtually guarantee failure.

Let me say that again. A lack of a data management will virtually guarantee failure.

There are telltale signs that a company lacks sufficient control of their data:

  1. Stagnating or declining sales
  2. Deteriorating customer service
  3. Overly complicated business model
  4. Very complex business processes or functions, e.g. Supply Chain
  5. Business critical systems that generate large volumes of data
  6. Limited information and communication flow between silos
  7. Companies that have been through mergers and acquisitions

Unfortunately, companies presenting these symptoms tend to see data as merely an IT problem. Their myopic and wrong-headed view causes them to see IT as an operating cost to be reduced. This robs IT any authority or mandate to restructure other departments and business functions to take advantage of all the valuable data, information and innovations available.

In order to thrive in this digital age, companies need to realize that they are in the data business and drive the transformation from the business side NOT expecting an IT project to solve the issue.

Those that understand and internalize data being part of their core business will accelerate their competitive advantages over those that don't. The latter may end up struggling to even survive over the next few years.