Capgemini: building resilient enterprises with data

By Zhiwei Jiang
Zhiwei Jiang, CEO of the Insights and Data Global Business Line at Capgemini, on building resilient enterprises with trustworthy data...

Change happens in a split second. Organisations of all sizes must be ready to navigate through uncertainties and be prepared for the unexpected when major developments occur. 

Accessing the right data, at the right time, is essential to limiting business disruption, especially at a time where a global pandemic has caused a great deal of instability. 

If anything, the pandemic has given people time to reassess their current architectures, and many have discovered their existing data processes are more of an obstacle than an enabler. Trustworthy data, therefore, is a key enabler for building resilient enterprises. The challenge lies in accessing it as quickly or efficiently as businesses need to.

When data isn’t being managed correctly – whether it is siloed, inconsistent, of poor quality, or even in breach of privacy legislations like GDPR – it undermines the ability of organisations to adapt to changing times. In turn, this can lead to misleading or misconstrued insights. 

The key to success lies with trusted data. Without it, data fails to provide meaningful insights that empower action. But what does trusted data mean, and how can organisations know how to ensure their data is trustworthy? What do they need to do to make this change and use it to support and resolve business challenges?

Recognising potential blockages

Data often lacks clarity due to blockages caused by pre-existing IT landscapes and legacy processes. These prevent businesses from having a clear view over what information they hold and where it’s being stored. Challenges then arise when companies trust and use this data to make game-changing decisions without recognising that it is incomplete or left open to interpretation. If an organisation is to unlock the true potential of its data in a way that’s transparent and trustworthy, it must guarantee it can handle the basic elements of data management. 

Trusted data needs to be drawn from selected sources, adapted in accordance with the data’s intended use and delivered in formats and time frames that are appropriate to the business and its customers. To achieve this, businesses must ensure they’re able to maintain a healthy, preferably automated, data pipeline that leaves little room for error. From reassessing how their data is sourced, stored (securely), handled and governed, they will be able to engender trust and start using their data as the foundation for transformation. 

Modernising the data estate is key

The need for speed and agility has been heightened by COVID-19; if businesses are to act fast, they need to consider modernisation of their data estate. You may think that a time of crisis is the wrong moment to think about this, because of the effort involved, but organisations simply won’t be able to successfully navigate an ostensibly altered business landscape without change. This can only come from proactively building a trustworthy data supply chain. 

Updating and reforming the data estate enables businesses to get back on track faster and more effectively. By democratising data, enterprises can seize the opportunities of transformation: creating a secure, trusted, ethically managed and constantly evolving asset that is available across the whole organisation. 

Companies must establish a set framework that addresses the capabilities and methodologies needed to bring everything together. Using multi-sourced data they can leverage technologies like robotics, intelligent automation, and artificial intelligence. Businesses can then move away from operations-focused, limited value data initiatives and build the foundation for an enterprise-wide, data-first approach – a platform that will typically be based on a next generation, hybrid cloud architecture.

Organisations will soon be operating under a hybrid multi-cloud environment. The sooner they strategically address the data orchestration and management challenges of their wider digital transformation, the higher their chances for success. 

Use data to drive action

The value and operational benefits that result from modernising data estates are unequivocal. Building resilience requires bettering many different aspects of the business, from fostering a culture of responsibility and empowerment, to adopting a lexicon for digital transformation. The most crucial element to this, however, is establishing a secure and trusted data pipeline to fuel effective decision-making. 

When used correctly, data can inform and enable a resilient business. Operating at a level of transparency and agility that makes data trustworthy is what will empower reliable and game-changing decision-making. That is why we should be using this time to embrace change and become a data-powered enterprise to successfully mitigate challenges in the future. 

For more information on business topics in Europe, Middle East and Africa please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

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