IT leaders are at the forefront of efforts to help drive their organization’s digital transformation and enable the business to turn data into insights that deliver growth, efficiencies, and competitive advantage. But where to begin? Having worked with companies around the world to help them capture the value of their data assets, KPMG professionals have learned that many digital leaders all embrace a few common strategies:
Create a data value proposition grounded in business imperatives
In KPMG member firms’ experience, companies often struggle to unlock the value of data—even after significant investment—because they didn’t tailor their data initiatives to the organization’s business imperatives. Data enables business strategy; it’s not a business strategy itself. Before an organization moves forward with data initiatives, there needs to be a wellarticulated value proposition that holistically describes the challenges, problems, or hypotheses that data will help address. Who are the beneficiaries? What additional capabilities are required beyond sourcing data? Consider whether the organization sees data as an asset, a liability, or both. Finally, digital leaders need to implement tangible, measurable metrics linked to business outcomes
Clarify functional accountabilities built into the operating model
Successfully using data as a valuable business asset requires clear accountabilities and spans of control for key technology leaders—and buy-in from those leaders. With the proliferation of tech-savvy leaders in the C-suite, CEOs are taking the time needed to clearly define roles across the technology value chain—CIO, CTO, and chief digital and data officers alike—regarding the data-driven transformation effort. Digital leaders are creating a collaborative discussion to ensure everyone is clear on their accountabilities, decision governance, how teams will collaborate, and the customer outcome everyone is focused upon. This clarity will better equip these leaders to define their respective operating models more appropriately.
Start the organization’s journey toward data literacy
Data literacy is critical for creating a strong datadriven culture and enabling the business to make the best use of data. Data literacy is especially important for IT professionals, as it allows them to be better business partners and ensure the organization effectively capitalizes on its data assets. Once a clear data-centric business case is made, IT leaders should collaborate crossfunctionally to define the required data-related skill sets and competencies needed to improve the core IT function’s data literacy to solve the most challenging and high-value business problems. At the same time, the CEO and management committee should bring their attention to building a broader data literacy program to ensure the organization is “future data ready.”
Manage the cultural shift
Digital transformation and embracing a data-driven way of doing business represents a fundamental cultural shift for most organizations, and that shift needs to be managed effectively. New ways of working, tooling, and governance will be introduced at every layer of the organization. Stakeholders across the enterprise will need to understand how data will change the business, from decision making to delivery and beyond. They’ll want to know how using data will impact their day-to-day work and how it will benefit them. There will be a focus on new types of performance measures. All of this will require a comprehensive change management and communications program that engages and explains what’s changing and what being data driven really means—and empowers people across the organization to play an active part in the transformation. Companies that put culture and people in the center of the data-driven transformation will be more likely to move beyond incremental gains and scale the value of their data assets.
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