The world is rapidly transitioning to a data-driven era. The rise of the internet, new devices, pervasiveness of social media and ‘meme’ culture, and the power of algorithms have had a major impact in our behaviours, transactions and conversations. This, in turn, has impacted the kind of data we generate; organisations across industries are now tracking and monitoring this data to gain a competitive edge in the rapidly evolving environment.
Data provides a wealth of insights--rich, layered, multi-dimensional, and in volumes that we couldn’t have envisaged just a few years ago. Operations, processes, employees, consumers, products and assets generate petabytes of structured and unstructured data that can be processed and mined for business impact and value.
Take the Know Your Customer (KYC) process at any financial institution. What was once a static, form-filling exercise to collect demographic information has now been transformed into a dynamic, real-time data-gathering process. Through multiple channels (websites, mobile apps, chatbots), institutions reach out to customers either explicitly soliciting or implicitly gathering information on location, lifestyle choices, personal and professional interests, commercial transactions etc.
While providing visibility into previously unknown facets of the decisions and operations of customers, data offers opportunities to innovate and pilot solutions across sales and marketing, customer experience, operations and drive returns on investment (ROI).
Conversations on cloud, big data, machine learning are moving towards standardised, accessible, cost-efficient and scalable platforms ready to tap into demand across industries. Data warehouses have traditionally been considered as powerful tools to house data; however, now the focus has shifted to cloud data lakes, which provide an integrated enterprise solution that can not only store, but also process data and create a consumption layer to drive better business performance.
Cloud data lakes offer several business benefits, including:
Cloud data lakes can help innovatively address several complex business scenarios by processing, transforming and analysing large volumes of messy, complex data from a variety of sources including ERPs, sensors and social media.[NS1] For example, data lakes can support financial services by creating a single source of truth across a complex landscape of multiple core business systems, allowing for improved data integration and governance and shorter turnaround times (TATs).
For businesses to remain competitive and productive, digital transformation is the need of the hour, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis is driving clarity in technology investments, with 56 per cent of global enterprise leaders agreeing that cloud migration has become an absolute necessity, according to the Enterprise Reboot survey conducted by KPMG International and HFS Research. The report, in which 56 of the 900 companies surveyed were from India, points out that many enterprises are “zeroing in on mature technologies such as cloud, automation and analytics that will drive quick ROI” as they plot a path towards recovery.1
The ease and simplicity offered by many platforms are driving rapid adoption. Cross-cloud integrations further strengthen the infrastructure, while adhering to evolving privacy regulations.
To seamlessly ensure adoption, businesses would need to address the following implementation challenges:
Cloud is the ideal platform for leveraging data effectively to drive experimentation. Evaluating options carefully and assembling the right teams would enable better informed and faster decisions in order to survive and sustain in a rapidly evolving environment.