C- suite ex­ec­u­tives will bring a trans­for­ma­tive change in the way a com­pany uses data to­day

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Dataquest, Chris Pow­ell, CMO, Com­m­vault shares his views on chal­lenges im­pact­ing CIO’s and CEO’s in the in­dus­try to­day and how busi­nesses ex­tract the value from data, with­out in­creas­ing cost and com­plex­ity. Ex­cerpts:

Dataquest - - CONTENTS -

—CHRIS POW­ELL, CMO, Com­m­vault

What are the ma­jor trends and chal­lenges im­pact­ing CIO’s and CEO’s? The IT in­dus­try is mov­ing at an un­prece­dented pace. Ef­fec­tive data man­age­ment is no longer the sole do­main of the IT de­part­ment. In our dig­i­tal era, the ques­tion for busi­ness lead­ers is how im­por­tant is data to their busi­ness? Our many in­ter­ac­tions with busi­ness lead­ers unan­i­mously dis­cuss the im­por­tance of data in their busi­ness de­ci­sions. Data is im­por­tant be­cause they have value for the busi­ness and in­creas­ingly so. The chal­lenge lies in man­ag­ing the data. Com­pa­nies’ move­ment to the cloud, adop­tion of hy­brid in­fra­struc­ture en­vi­ron­ment, at­trac­tive­ness of SaaS, mo­bil­ity of work­force although of­fer much re­lief in agility and many other busi­ness con­sid­er­a­tions, it cre­ated silo data pools in an or­ga­ni­za­tion. The time to re-think data strat­egy is now.

CIOs and busi­ness lead­ers are also chal­lenged with ac­quir­ing and re­tain­ing tal­ent. They will need to adopt rad­i­cal tal­ent ac­qui­si­tion and re­ten­tion strate­gies if they hope to not only se­cure and keep skilled and mo­ti­vated em­ploy­ees, but also en­sure that all th­ese em­ploy­ees are ‘row­ing to­gether’ in full align­ment with the en­ter­prise’s busi­ness goals. To do so, or­ga­ni­za­tions need to lever­age HR re­lated data and build an­a­lyt­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties to use it pro­duc­tively. For ex­am­ple, it is not un­com­mon for tal­ent ac­qui­si­tion team to au­to­mate tal­ent search on sites like LinkedIn; big data and an­a­lyt­ics are in­creas­ingly be­com­ing im­por­tant for find­ing and re­tain­ing the right tal­ent. What is so spe­cial about your of­fer­ings and how does it help the users? Com­m­vault of­fer­ings have been a con­sis­tent and re­li­able choice for en­ter­prises across the world for many years. With the pro­lif­er­a­tion of IoT (In­ter­net of Things), cloud and mo­bile, or­ga­ni­za­tions are gath­er­ing in­creas­ing amount of data on a daily ba­sis. Our 20+ years of ded­i­ca­tion in re­search and in­no­va­tion has never wa­vered, our of­fer­ings are the re­sult of a con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment to our soft­ware code, never through ac­qui­si­tion and try­ing to make dif­fer­ent codes work. Users en­joy a con­sis­tent qual­ity ex­pe­ri­ence with Com­m­vault from prod­uct to ser­vices and sup­port.

Data has come a long way from be­ing seen as a ‘chal­lenge’ that oc­cu­pies stor­age space to a ‘phys­i­cal as­set’ that brings value to busi­ness. As busi­nesses con­tinue to tread the path of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, data will evolve strate­gi­cally for crit­i­cal busi­ness de­ci­sions and in­vest­ment. All data are not cre­ated equal. Con­sider th­ese five fun­da­men­tals to de­rive value from your data: know your data, fed­er­ate your data, mo­bi­lize data, gov­ern your data, and se­cure your data. What are the trends and op­por­tu­ni­ties on data man­age­ment in the cloud to­day? Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, big data an­a­lyt­ics and IoT are fu­elling un­prece­dented data growth among or­ga­ni­za­tions. While Cloud is cer­tainly an ef­fec­tive way to store this data, cloud alone can­not solve all the data man­age­ment prob­lems. It’s im­por­tant to develop a clear un­der­stand­ing

of the data and its value to the com­pany to de­cide where and how to store it. Cat­e­go­riza­tion of data is thus a crit­i­cal as­pect in de­cid­ing the rel­e­vance of data. While cloud providers of­fer you the in­fra­struc­ture to store the data, only a firm data man­age­ment strat­egy can mit­i­gate data-re­lated risks.

Along with this holis­tic ap­proach, or­ga­ni­za­tions are look­ing at data man­age­ment so­lu­tions that have the flex­i­bil­ity to man­age their data on-premise, in the cloud, or wher­ever they need it to be. They de­mand so­lu­tions that sim­plify and man­age their ex­ist­ing cloud in­fra­struc­ture, en­hance data pro­tec­tion and min­i­mize data du­pli­ca­tion dur­ing backup and re­cov­ery pro­cesses. There is a grow­ing de­mand in the mar­ket around data pro­tec­tion that lower op­er­at­ing and cap­i­tal ex­penses pro­vide re­li­able, se­cure and quick ac­cess to busi­ness data.

What are the strate­gies for C-suite ex­ec­u­tives to lever­age data to de­liver busi­ness value to their or­ga­ni­za­tions?

Data an­a­lyt­ics and big data are al­ready top pri­or­i­ties for to­day’s busi­ness lead­ers. The mind-set change re­quired to suc­ceed in the dig­i­tal world means that the next gen­er­a­tion of C-suite ex­ec­u­tives must have a much bet­ter grasp in us­ing data re­gard­less of their role in the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Bal­anc­ing this with de­mands of com­pli­ance and gov­er­nance as gov­ern­ments amend and in­tro­duce new reg­u­la­tions to keep up with the rapidly chang­ing land­scape where data of­ten re­sides in var­i­ous ju­ris­dic­tions. This means C-suite ex­ec­u­tives will have to bring about a trans­for­ma­tive change in the way a com­pany uses data in its day-to-day busi­ness.

Roles like Chief Data Of­fi­cer, Chief Dig­i­tal Of­fi­cer, and Chief Cus­tomer Of­fi­cer re­flect or­ga­ni­za­tions’ ef­forts to adapt to chang­ing busi­ness needs and roles in ex­ist­ing lead­er­ship struc­ture.

How the role of a CMO has evolved in to­day’s dig­i­tal era? What are the new chal­lenges in the dig­i­tal era?

CMO is no longer just a pro­mo­tional role but one that is re­spon­si­ble for crit­i­cal cus­tomer fac­ing, rev­enue gen­er­at­ing sys­tems and ap­pli­ca­tions. Gart­ner pre­dicts that 65% of CMOs have their own cap­i­tal bud­gets, with dig­i­tal com­merce as key spend­ing ar­eas.

CMOs to­day must be as com­fort­able lead­ing and talk­ing about an­a­lyt­ics, apps and other dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion ini­tia­tives as they are talk­ing about cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. CMOs need to be truly data-driven and ap­proach the busi­ness know­ing that the buyer is in greater con­trol of the pur­chase process than ever be­fore. The chal­lenge is whether you are the CEO, CFO, CMO or CIO, the race to stay rel­e­vant will de­ter­mine who still has a seat at the top ta­ble to­mor­row.

How can busi­nesses ef­fi­ciently ex­tract the value from data, with­out in­creas­ing cost and com­plex­ity?

We are en­ter­ing a dig­i­tal age where the abun­dance of in­for­ma­tion can be a prob­lem – or an op­por­tu­nity. With the bil­lions of IoT de­vices be­ing con­nected as smart chips are em­bed­ded in ev­ery­thing from cars to fridges to ware­house load­ers, en­ter­prises need to be pre­pared to deal with the petabytes of in­for­ma­tion that will be flow­ing in. Be it data an­a­lyt­ics, big data or soft­ware-de­fined stor­age ini­tia­tives, or­ga­ni­za­tions need to un­der­stand the com­plex­ity of data man­age­ment but more im­por­tantly re­al­ize the im­por­tance of data in busi­ness to­day.

In­tel­li­gent data man­age­ment can au­to­mate ac­cess to, trans­fer be­tween and the sync­ing of data be­tween dozens of ap­pli­ca­tions, data­bases and var­i­ous other en­ter­prise data lakes - if en­ter­prises do not want their IT ad­min­is­tra­tion costs to sky­rocket and their busi­ness pro­cesses to slow down.

CMOs to­day must be as com­fort­able lead­ing and talk­ing about an­a­lyt­ics, apps and other dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion ini­tia­tives as they are talk­ing about cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence

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