2012 has seen an acknowledgement and mainstream awareness of the challenges of managing the burgeoning streams of information generated and available to organizations, particularly big data. In 2013, I expect the focus to shift to the challenges of developing and implementing enterprise strategies for making use of all this data.
Opportunities abound for deploying information in transformative ways. Gartner’s 2013 research agenda will help IT and business leaders develop and execute strategies for achieving higher returns on their information assets. This includes leveraging big data, enhancing analytic capabilities, achieving more disciplined information asset management approaches, and incorporating new and expanded information-related roles:
The volume, velocity, and variety of information sources available today to organizations is more than just an information management challenge. Rather this phenomenon represents an incredible opportunity to improve enterprise performance significantly and even transform their businesses or industries. More than merely reporting on information or even basic decision making support, information assets are an instrument for innovation. Making this strategic shift quickly enough to meet create competitive advantage is the real challenge for most businesses.
Key issues Gartner will be exploring throughout the coming year are also questions business and IT leaders should be asking themselves:
Business uses and sources of information
- What are the range of internal and external sources of data available, starting with our own underutilized “dark data”?
- How can information be used, not just for decision-making, but for greater business insights and process automation?
- How can information be used to foster relationships and improve collaboration with our employees, partners, customers and/or suppliers?
- How can information facilitate business transformation and innovation, beyond just incremental performance improvements?
- How can information be monetized by packaging, sharing and/or selling it?
- How can we evolve to a more information-centric culture?
- How can our IT and business groups organize for achieving higher levels of information performance?
- What emerging information-related skills and methods should be considered, planned for, used or acquired?
- What should be key components our well-defined Big Data vision, strategy and plan?
- What are our key Big Data challenges and techniques to overcome them (e.g. infrastructure, architecture, analytics, staffing, etc.)?
Value and economics of information (infonomics)
- Why should and how can we inventory, measure and quantify their information assets?
- How can information’s value be used to justifying and gauge the ROI of information-related initiatives, as well as other IT and business initiatives?
- How can we manage information as an actual corporate asset?
So if you’re looking to make a corporate New Year’s resolution to do more with data for driving corporate value, consider developing answers to each of these questions. And keep an eye on Gartner’s Information Innovation research throughout 2013.
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