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Increasing Relevance in the Digital Age

By Paul Harapin, VP & GM, and Asia Pacific Japan, and Domo Inc.

Increasing Relevance in the Digital Age

Paul Harapin, VP & GM,

All organisations are finding disruptive market forces increasingly entering their turf. Digital transformation and mobile technology are changing how we live and work, be it Uber in the taxi industry, Airbnb in the hotel arena, or newer nimble entrants in the world of finance.

Technology departments are feeling this transformation faster and more directly than most. At one time, 80 percent of IT budgets were dedicated to infrastructure and network, effectively“keeping the lights on.” That dynamic is being upended by new cloud entrants and service models.

To deal with growing peak loads, an organisation no longer needs to buy huge amounts of network, server and storage, which often remain highly under utilized. Now, they can make use of pay-as-you-go cloud models to off-load not only the capital cost, but the huge operational costs involved in owning hardware. Converged hardware and software models such as Vblock Systems from VCEprovide an “iPhone like” experience in the datacenter, decreasing operational management costs by 80 percent or more.

As this industry-wide change moves into legacy software approaches, many IT professionals are becoming increasingly defensive. This reaction is due to uncertainty regarding their job security, as-well-as importance and relevance to their company.

However, the opportunity exists for CIOs and their teams to become critical digital advisors to the C-Suite. Rather than resisting transformation, those who take the lead in dealing with these changes are more likely to become trusted and valuable.

It is not a matter of if this evolution will impact you, but when. If you are not leading the discussion now, then anticipate it to come from your replacement in the not-so-distant future.

Legacy business intelligence and traditional technical data tools aimed at reporting on “data lakes” – or the “data ocean” as I recently heard it described– have not delivered what the business needs.Reports from IT research firm Gartner, show that 70 to 80 percent of traditional BI projects have failed. The Eckerson Group also reported that only 36 percent of business decision makers are satisfied with the current tools, boasting big promises, but ultimately too complex to leverage.Today’s business users are drowning in their data, unable to consume the vast quantities for successful operational decision making.

Most executives want to understand their key business KPIs and operational metrics in real-time. They also want to collaborate with team members around actionable insights, to deliver improved business performance. They need this process to occur as things happen, not weeks or months after-the-fact, and prefer having mobile access to match their current work style.

Unfortunately, many IT teams are reluctant to consider a new approach, hoping that executives will continue to rely on their analysts to create and explain reports.Some take this stubbornness to the point of obstinate obstruction.

Don’t let that be your team. Being able to clearly articulate and openly show differing approaches using new, scalable and user-friendly models creates a relationship of trust, as both sides of an organization deal with these shifts in business models together. Our personal world has already moved into cloud and mobile, and our business is fast following. Take the lead or be pushed out of the way.

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