By Michael Cade, Senior Global Technologist, Veeam
Business leaders across the world have big plans to make strides towards creating more intelligent organizations. This goal applies to everything from the way they serve customers to the systems that their employees use. The key to making this intelligence a reality for businesses can be seen by coming to grips with the huge amounts of data these companies produce. When a company is able to analyze data, it allows businesses to manage resources and more effectively plan for employee absences. Through Cloud Data Management, these same organizations can turn previously useless packets of information into gold mines of insight. Gathering and acting on these insights will distinguish intelligent businesses from the rest.
The 2019 Veeam Cloud Data Management report found that the average IT decision-makers (ITDMs) plans to spend over $40 million on deploying technologies that will enable a more data-driven approach to decision making. When asked what technology they will be turning to in order to accomplish their goals, almost 73% have either already deployed or plan to deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the next 12 months. Furthermore, over three in five have already deployed and analytics, with a further quarter planning to do so in the next year. The uptake of technologies like AI, big data, and analytics all point towards this desire for organizations to become more intelligent and therefore more competitive and successful on a corporate scale. Whether that’s accelerating their capacity to process information or improve the quality of insight that they are able to gain from big data deposits.
Most businesses feel that current digital transformation taking place should have been extended across entire businesses from the start. This may be because these organizations are transitioning entirely to a cloud-based IT infrastructure and will, therefore, be removing data silos in one fell swoop. While this is likely to yield results faster, the practice of running experiments in several areas of the business and then applying it the company as a whole based on those results may result in easier to manage changes. This could be particularly true for businesses that are looking to extend digital transformation to the whole business straight away.
It is a given that organizations want these up and coming integrated technologies integrated quickly and efficiently into their company. On average, once new technologies have been deployed within the business, ITDMs expect to see financial benefits within nine months of deployment and operational improvements within seven. In terms of deployment, 55% of ITDMs are looking to deploy technologies that enable Cloud Data Management across the entire business, whereas 34% plan to launch and scale. However, there is still one very important consideration which can be overlooked: culture.
Management guru, Peter Drucker, tells us that culture eats strategy for breakfast. In some ways, the same can be said be when addressing the impact that data can have on a business. While a successful digital transformation requires a cohesive plan of action that can be rolled out with the appropriate technologies across the business, the most critical challenge is getting employees to adapt to these changes on a cultural level. Establishing a data-driven culture involves training new behaviours and responses to become natural reactions. 37% of ITDMs believe that finding a way to nurture a company culture that encourages adaptation of new techniques is one of the most crucial milestones towards becoming an intelligent business. After all, a business can have all the right infrastructure in place, but if it isn’t using the key insights emanating from big data and analytics, it can’t be described as data-driven.
ITDMs are beginning to see the impact that cultural transformation can have on the way their organization uses data. And the majority of those ITDMs feel that changes are necessary if organizations want to best utilize the data that is being presented by Cloud Data Management. Over two-thirds of ITDMs feel their company culture needs to become more open and accepting of new technology entering the workplace. There can be pushback to new platforms, systems and structures that present challenges or changes from the status quo. Additionally, given the prevalence of AI as a hot topic for conversation, employees may be hesitant of the impact that a new technology — like AI which is designed to drive efficiency and productivity — could have on their own role. Or the certainty of their role in their company. 52% of ITDMs believe that their company culture needs to tilt towards becoming more accepting of the fact that jobs will change as businesses advance towards a more intelligent and data-driven future. Almost three-fifths go as far as saying that that organization’s culture should shift to view new technologies in the same light as a new co-worker.
This is a refreshing outlook on the role that technology has to play in these intelligent enterprises. These technologies are about providing employees with the tools and information to do their jobs as effectively as possible. Whether it’s providing a place to keep track of sales discussions, relevant tasks or showing them more efficient ways of generating leads. Businesses are — and should be — constantly striving to increase revenue, reduce costs, and find new ways to differentiate themselves. Within an intelligent business, every individual employee can adopt a similar policy of self-improvement. 47% of ITDMs believe their company needs to embrace a cultural norm of continuous learning and growth. By viewing technology as an opportunity, as opposed to a threat, employees can grow their knowledge base and support their existing skills sets with the information they previously didn’t have.
Veeam has delivered and will continue to deliver, a whole new standard of IT, enabling companies to push ahead with lead developments in digital technology. This level of technology can only reach its true potential if the company and the employees are onboard with integrated the changes. The central part of becoming a more intelligent business is really all about making a commitment to continuous learning and improvement — at both an individual and organization-wide scale. Once the correct cornerstones are in place and businesses are successfully integrating and deploying Cloud Data Management, this data-driven culture will have the foundation that it needs to thrive. From there, ITDMs have a role to play in ensuring that every employee is engaged with the new technologies being deployed and understand how to get the best out of them.