Organisations obtain competitive edge by building expertise in data management to fuel their business strategy. Is that enough for 2021? Gartner says data and analytics leaders must be able to show the value of master data management (MDM) to their stakeholders to ensure the trusted data required of a data-driven organisation.
G2 predicts that in 2021, data-driven leaders will be reassessing their data management strategies due to the evolving technology environment. Organisations will prioritize investments in scalable data platforms to effectively secure, govern, and analyse data across business functions through a single unified platform.
These platforms will provide greater control over and allow seamless access to their data, irrespective of where it resides, ultimately helping them gain valuable insights and make better business decisions.
Mark Beyer, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner says “starting in 2021, data management will become a practice that focuses on how data is used and accessed, rather than how it is retained and controlled. This complimentary webinar will help you gain greater benefits from your data by better understanding the four D’s: Distributed, disparate, dynamic, and discovered.”
What kind of oil is data?
“People started leveraging data a lot more for driving better business decisions. While the value and volume of data has increased, the data has become equally vulnerable, if not more than earlier before. This is because data is now spread across multiple locations, instead of just one central location,” he added.
He is quick to correct the analogy of data as being the new oil. “Data in its raw format is useless unless you use the right tools and the right technologies to protect your data, manage it and more importantly, give that data to the right business users for them to make informed business decisions,” he elaborated.
“That is the true value of data. In the world of digital transformation, one of the fundamental changes is that customers are rapidly adopting technologies and tools around data in order to make business decisions more effectively to drive their organisations.”
Data trends in 2021
Aside from what we already that cloud, security and collaboration adoption continue to spill over from 2020 and the mass migration to remote work model, Mahale could only add that security and cloud will go hand-in-hand which is why data protection is a lot more critical today.
“Businesses need to identify the right tools, processes, and technologies to protect and manage data in a multi-cloud world,” he opined.
Handling the data diversity and disparity
Gartner says “data and analytics leaders must deal with issues related to increasing data diversity, including analysing large volumes of data from diverse formats such as cloud applications, NoSQL databases, social and sensor data, and semi-structure file formats such as XML and JSON.”
As with Gartner, Mahale is confident that tools are available today to support this expanding universe of data formats and use cases. But he cautions that it is not just about having the right tools, technologies, and processes.
“Most importantly, they need to think about the people. How are people being scaled, managed, and leveraged for dealing with data diversity? We are facing an increasing need for data scientists, but businesses can also use technologies like AI and machine learning to extract a lot more value out of these data sets that are spread in multiple environments,” he opined.
The I in CIO in the new normal
Mahale is adamant that ‘I’ in the CIO title is no longer simply about information. It can also stand for ‘Innovation’ although for him CIOs need to be ‘Investigative’ as well. Given that cyberattacks are not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’, CIOs must be able to investigate what happened and where the breaches are coming from. He also said ‘I’ can stand for ‘Intelligence’ in the sense that CIOs must make sese of the data that they already have to make better business decisions.
“The role of the CIO is going to evolve in multi-faceted ways. For the first time, CIOs are going to have a seat in the board meeting because everybody is talking about data and how businesses should manage it, protect it and use it.”
“The CIO role has transformed into that of a business leader, not just an IT leader, with the ‘I’ taking shape of information, innovation, intelligence and investigation,” he opined.
As for the CISO, he commented that the job is to protect all of an organisation’s data from attacks that are happening not just on the periphery, but all the way to the data centre and the cloud.
Smart normal ahead
Mahale points to the present state as being the ‘smart normal’ with the CIO having to contend with a distributed – not limited to one location – environment, with data being created outside of the data centre as well as within.
“The adoption of SaaS applications will be on the rise and therefore multi-cloud, remote working, collaborative technology, and tools will also be on the rise. CIOs will need to protect the data across all these environments too.”
“CIOs will need to relook the entire process of their organisations as well. How does the process of digital transformation work now versus the year earlier? I’d advise CIOs to take care of people first, then technology and then processes,” he concluded.
Click on the PodChat player above to listen to the full dialogue with Mahale.
- How has data management and protection evolved in the past year? What surprised you the most?
- What are some trends CIOs and CISOs should look out for in the coming year?
- How has this accelerated adoption of cloud change the state of data management and protection?
- How far along are we in being able to handle data diversity and disparity of environments?
- What do you think the role of the CISO will look like?
- What is your advice to CIOs and CISOs around data management and protection?