It will take time to make companies more data-centric. But the shift will not be possible at all unless the executive team acts in concert.
While technology buying choices may be the responsibility of the CIO, cultural change must be driven by a wider range of business leaders, including the chief executive.
Beyond culture alone, CIOs need to look at the following points:
- Reskill the organisation.
The CIO may deliver technology with which the business can capture and analyse data, but the whole company needs to be able to use it effectively.
That may require organisational change: embedding data specialists in all business units, for example, rather than amassing them in IT.
- Appoint a data champion.
Companies such as Bank of America have chosen to appoint a chief data officer, with responsibility for data management strategy, policy and governance.
A champion at this level of the business can be the prime mover in assessing the company's existing data inventory and gaps that need filling.
They can determine the extent to which data is already being valued and the skills with which the company needs to equip its staff.
- Rethink relationships.
Companies must value the data they hold. This will have consequences for internal issues such as storage and data deletion, but will also lead companies to reassess the information they share with partners.
If data has a measurable value, is the company compensated sufficiently for passing it around?
The transition to data-driven decision making requires a change of mindset. But those that fail to make the shift will be left behind by companies with a commitment to extracting ever more value from data volumes that are increasing exponentially.
Instinct is no longer good enough.
To read more about fostering a data centric culture read The Business Implications Series: Data Culture Paper.
Gavin Michael is Chief Technology Innovation Officer at Accenture. Follow Gavin on Twitter @gavinmichael