In Part 1 of this series, we explored the factors that are inhibiting the actualisation of that critical 5th V of Data - Value.
And now in Part 2, the focus is all about this enablement and achieving it at scale, taking into consideration the holistic but integral combination of emergent technologies, culture, process, people, partnership and skills. This is the alignment that can afford the active and agile intelligence that can drive sustainable competitive advantage, and moreover, drive societal impact that lasts as well. Thanks again to Thomas Harrer, CTO IBM Server and Storage for a wonderful conversation which is available to listen to in full here.
The application of artificial intelligence, automation and data science practices are becoming an imperative to extract the full value out of data. Self-service data access, modeling and baked-in governance are vitally important, a prime example of which being the capabilities afforded in this area by SAP’s Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC). Automation is also key. From understanding what can be done with data, we can move onto bringing it into every single business process, automating the aspects that enhance those business processes, making them more intelligent, and ultimately more valuable.
Underpinning it all, is the capacity to consolidate data sources into one place and provide a single point of trusted access to data in real-time and regardless of age, source, or size, enabling a hybrid approach to data management and analytics. More details of how DWC supports this are available here. This is all supported by the essential role of integration, which is key to access and process trusted data to maximize value, helping to contextualize, navigate and connect distributed data to discover insights, connecting relationships to understand how data impacts business outcomes.
And further still, the power of partnership comes to the fore, a case in point being the relationship between SAP and IBM. Taking SAP HANA as an example, a critical system for so many organizations across the world, IBM already supports over 3000 clients running SAP HANA on IPM Power Systems to optimize cost, performance, flexibility, scalability and even sustainability benefits too. In addition, the Global Business Services practices arm within IBM works closely with SAP’s Data Warehouse Cloud, SAP Analytics and other teams to afford holistic understanding, depth of knowledge and support. The very essence of collaborative ecosystem partnership to benefit customer centricity.
Additional trends to consider in your data value journey include the rise of open source, with many organizations leveraging open source elements to create integrated systems in a hybrid cloud fashion, or in public clouds or private clouds. Containerized structures and systems with cloud native applications can be very relevant here, with the combination of the container orchestration platform Red Hat OpenShift and SAP a great example of how this can work effectively, and how applications can be ‘written once, deployed anywhere’.
The continued rise of Cloud Computing is also pivotal with key dimensions moving beyond cost to security, compliance, performance, reliability, operations, and application modernization. For further insights from our discussion on the nature of ‘Smart Cloud’ listen here. Broader issues of trust and data privacy, security, sovereignty and regulation have come center stage too, and in the case of compliance, often bringing complexity in terms of geographical differences in requirements. Confidential computing, whereby everything is encrypted without allowing a cloud provider to look into the data, is notably pertinent.
‘All the innovation is nothing if a company gets hit by a cyberattack, or loses data because it was not encrypted or an administrator was compromised by some social engineering and allowed somebody to get into the network, and the mess has just started….So it's a balance of innovation, protecting the detail and doing the right things’
Thomas Harrer, CTO IBM Server and Storage
And supporting the technology, investment in culture, notably shared responsibility and shared values, alongside skills development, upskilling and reskilling is key, particularly considering increasing industry skills gaps in security, architecture, testing and other disciplines. Alongside this, the nature of leadership is evolving too, to support the Business-IT alignment imperative. It is no surprise that we are seeing more CTOs in the boards of organizations, and equally, a more strategic and changing agency role for CFO’s on a daily basis. This is the imperative to come together and better drive innovation into the future.
With the global big data market poised to grow to some $103 billion by 2027, more than double its expected market size in 2018 (Statista), the time is now to ‘get on top’ of your data and ensure all the conditions are in place to move beyond the 4 V’s of data Volume, Veracity, Velocity and Variety, to that critical 5th of data Value. We have seen the vital role of artificial intelligence, automation and data science practices, alongside self-service data access and modeling, data source consolidation and ecosystem integration; which must be supported by investment in people, processes, culture and skills.
And as exemplified by the relationship between IBM and SAP, over this last year probably more than any other, the power of partnership also comes to the fore, proving to be a core catalyst for accelerating innovation, and at scale. This is a path to move beyond resiliency, and often a reactive resiliency, to becoming more proactive and agile to change, fostering holistic data driven data value and active intelligence. And as a final point, I couldn't agree more with Thomas about the future ahead of us and what we can achieve co-creatively for both business and society too.
‘We are just at the beginning. So there's so much ahead of us which can be tackled with technology.’ Thomas Harrer, CTO IBM Server and Storage
Dr. Sally Eaves is a highly experienced Chief Technology Officer, Professor in Advanced Technologies and a Global Strategic Advisor on Digital Transformation specialising in the application of emergent technologies, notably AI, FinTech, Blockchain & 5G disciplines, for business transformation and social impact at scale. An international Keynote Speaker and Author, Sally was an inaugural recipient of the Frontier Technology and Social Impact award, presented at the United Nations in 2018 and has been described as the ‘torchbearer for ethical tech’ founding Aspirational Futures to enhance inclusion, diversity and belonging in the technology space and beyond.