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How CDOs & CIOs are Driving Digital Transformation

Ajay Khanna, VP of Marketing, Reltio

I recently got an opportunity to present at MITCDOIQ Symposium in Cambridge, MA. Here is the outline of my presentation where I discussed how today’s CIOs and CDOs are driving digital transformation across their enterprises. It discusses the key drivers for digital transformation and how Modern Data Management is helping them with their initiatives. You can now download my slides from the event from this page.

Today’s business landscape more dynamic than ever. New revenue models, stringent regulations and high customer expectations are forcing organizations to evolve or face being overrun by more nimble competitors.

CDOs and CIOs of established business are looking to digital transformation as a key initiative. But what exactly does digital transformation entail? At its core, any digital transformation requires clean and consistent data, reconciled across systems and channels. An enterprise-wide data management foundation that ensures real-time access to reliable data of all types at scale and is non-negotiable. Data access must be democratized across all groups and divisions so that teams can get a 360-degree view of customers, products, organizations and more.

However, it’s not just about disconnected siloed analytics. It’s about the next generation of operational data-driven applications that allow frontline business users to gain relevant insight and intelligent recommended actions so they can achieve their goals. This session explores how some of the largest companies in the world are transforming themselves using the same modern data management technology used by Internet giants such as Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google.

The presentation covers the following topics:

  • Changes in business environment and need for agility

  • Digital transformation drivers

  • Digital transformation examples

  • Data-driven digital transformation with Modern Data Management

Please fill out the form below to download the presentation slides:

CIO & CDOs: How Does Brexit Impact Your Data Management Strategy?

By now I’m sure you’ve had more than your fill of Brexit analysis, memes, and even a tie-in to the England National team’s exit from Euro 2016 tournament.

It’s been well documented that the vote doesn’t mean that the UK is leaving the EU tomorrow. Some speculate it could take until 2020 before any action is taken. But companies across the globe do need to plan for that eventuality, and one key area is ensuring that they remain agile with their data management, and privacy protection strategies.

A major analyst firm wasted no time in issuing a research note titled “CIOs Must Act to Prepare for Changes Triggered by Brexit”. The note covered a wide variety of areas from cost optimization, people and talent through to governance and operating model changes.

Businesses in Europe will see a stall in IT spending as a result of the U.K. vote to leave the European Union. CIOs need to provide frequent, open communication and create a task force to prepare for the changes.

In the area of data management, many have been quick to point out that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) passed by the EU late 2015 already has strong requirements as it pertains to:

  • Accountability of businesses to demonstrate compliance including privacy impact assessments, key in healthcare data, in which the risks to an individual during the use of that data must be detailed

  • Data erasure aka “the right to be forgotten”, meaning removing any historical activities made by individuals captured as part of their digital activities

  • Profiling which relates to the need to obtain permission from individuals before any of their profile data is used to evaluate their behavior. Credit scores are an example of such profiling

  • Data breach notifications that dictate the minimum acceptable time periods upon which individuals or organizations must be notified when profiles containing their data is compromised

If the UK is no longer part of the EU, this may seemingly free UK companies from having to conform. However the GDPR is likely to be enacted in 2018, before the UK would leave in say 2020. And the UK and other companies doing business in the EU would still have to conform.

Additionally the GDPR actually determines data security and privacy policies for members of another group known as the European Economic Area (EEA). The analyst firm further points out

Brexit vote applies to the U.K. leaving the EU, it does not address the question of whether the U.K. will remain within the EEA (for example, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein are members of the EEA, but not the EU). Consequently, CIOs with data located in the U.K. will still need to continue with plans to comply with the new regulation until more information is provided on the U.K.’s future position in the EEA.

An Information Week article “Brexit: Will Cloud Vendors Hear London Calling?” speculates how Brexit might impact the investments being made in data centers by giants such as Amazon and Microsoft.

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft are in the process of adding to their cloud facilities in the UK. IBM has already done so. All were trying to establish cloud centers close to what has become the emerging financial center of the EU.

While an article in the Financial times takes another perspective suggesting that

Regional Cloud service providers would not be able to reach the scale needed to compete with global rivals, instead forcing them to rely on local data centers run by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, which already operate at an order of magnitude, this person said. “What we’re moving towards is a duopoly of AWS and Microsoft.”

As we’ve seen by global reaction, and the gyrations in the stock market, the uncertainty is overwhelming.

Reltio’s CEO Manish Sood in an interview with ComputerWeekly pointed out that

Data privacy and protection laws are becoming increasingly stringent, and are slowly catching up to the wealth of data being captured and used in the digital age.

Organizations who naturally see data as an asset for digital transformation, improved customer experience, and personalized targeting, have multiple hurdles to go through to conform to not just new regulations like GDPR, or even the EU-US privacy shield. The key for any organization wanting to do business globally is to use data management platforms and technologies that are agile enough to comply with all of these laws today, and as they evolve. Only then can they maintain their competitive advantage using data, and prevent their data turning into a compliance liability.

So maybe Brexit is just another wake up call for your company’s data management strategy. 

Accelerating Mergers & Acquisitions in the Medical Device Industry & the Rise of Data Monetization

As part of a very busy month for Reltio, I attended and presented at an event organized by Q1 Productions dedicated to Medical Device Industry Corporate Strategy and M&A in Atlanta, GA. The meeting was very well attended including representatives from Medtronic, Stryker and other companies sharing their insights into techniques for more effective M&A.

The topic of my presentation was:

Accelerating M&A in the Medical Device Industry with Modern Data Management

We discussed how bringing together clean, reliable, relevant data in a timely fashion from the IT systems of both parties to support an M&A is still largely a manual, inefficient and potentially inaccurate effort.

The audience agreed that the complexity of data siloed across both companies made it very difficult to analyze information within the legal and time constraints of all pending transactions. If the merger goes through, all work is generally discarded, leaving the combined company to start from ground zero. If the merger is called off, someone is left with hardware procured to support the M&A that is wasted. 

As part of the presentation I detailed:

  • How a multi-billion dollar merger blended & analyzed data from hundreds of sources with full security & audit controls, without spending a dime on hardware
  • Why they can also now realize millions of dollars in increased negotiating leverage through better vendor/supplier management
  • Which groups are positioned to benefit from new data-driven applications that will significantly improve the efficiency of their day-to-day operations
  • I also provided a modern data management Platform as a Service (PaaS) 101 overview, so attendees could understand the difference between MDM, Big Data, IoT, Analytics, Graph databases and Machine Learning
  • What other opportunities, including data monetization, are now possibilities for the future

Due to a cancellation I also was asked to dive deeper in a separate presentation on the topic of Data Monetization.

Data Monetization, Chief Data Officers, and Industry Clouds

This session provided details on: 

  • What exactly is data monetization
  • Why Data as a Service (DaaS) is a prerequisite
  • How reliable data with full compliance and audit controls are needed as a foundation
  • What are the legal ramifications?
  • Who is responsible for thinking about monetization?
  • What is a chief data officer, and what is his/her role?
  • How does a CDO play well with a CIO?
  • What are industry clouds, and how will that change the landscape of industry specific data applications
  • And even a topic what the future holds for our children’s future career choices: whether to learn how to program or be a data scientist

Finally the next day I moderated a lively “war stores” panel on

Lessons Learned from Recent M&A Activities

Distinguished panelists included

  • Girish Gangadharan, Analyst, Corporate Strategy & Development, ANALOGIC
  • Richard B. Smith, Partner, MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY

We discussed how over the course of the past 18 months, the medical device industry has experienced some of the highest levels of mergers & acquisition activity recorded to date, and as a result, many executives and organizations have sharpened acquisition skill-sets and have also learned substantial lessons. A lively debate ensued with the panelists and audience around recent experiences, lessons, as well as challenges that lie ahead for the industry as it continues to evolve and grow. The discussion continued throughout the day as attendees identified best practices across the business development spectrum; from identifying appropriate targets to negotiating in order to secure the optimal outcome.

Other key points raised included:

  • Managing expectations for earn outs as part of the deal
  • The difference between acquiring pre-commercial and commercial companies
  • Bringing together sales teams, and managing cost synergies
  • Retaining founders of start-ups and incentives
  • Legal and contractual requirements

Medical Device M&A continues to be hot. A recent infographic by Medical Device Trends shows some of the latest statistics: 
(BTW their site is a wealth of information and you should follow them @mdtrends on twitter) 

Contact me if you’d like to chat about your experiences in life sciences and medical device M&A, or if you’d like a copy of my presentations.

Your Salespeople are Your Data-driven Advantage

Most enterprises understand the need to provide their commercial teams with timely and accurate information. We’ve all seen the metrics where a wrong address or incorrect email can lead to wasted time, inefficient operations and poor customer satisfaction.

It’s why billions of dollars are spent every year acquiring information from third-party data sources to enrich information, and even more is spent on IT efforts to reconcile and master that data across countless internal data sources. In many cases, there are even outsourced services that have legions of data stewards that “dial for accurate data”.

Interestingly your field teams, such as sales and account managers who have regular contact every day with customers and potential prospects, encounter the most up-to-date information as a course of their normal activities. Those that decide to update that information in their CRM systems typically make a mess of the database, leading to duplicates and inconsistencies that master data management solutions are then tasked to clean up.

More importantly, beyond the accuracy of name, address and phone number, these field teams encounter interesting affiliations and relationships that are almost never available through third-party vendor data. Again those that are willing to provide that information back to their CRM applications hit a dead end because those applications are simply not equipped to handle complex relationships. They may be as diverse as person-to-person, person-to-organization, product-to-organization, location, price and other real world elements.

And even if they are able to capture some of the details the affiliation is often considered “soft” (e.g. hearsay vs. fact) and cannot be verifiable via back office data stewarding.

Here’s where a new breed of data-driven applications with built-in Modern Data Management can help. These applications provide frontline business users with a way to contribute new and updated data, all at their fingertips using mobile devices of their choice, including their smartphones! The information can be routed to data stewards through workflow, or simply left as “soft contributions” in the system. Meaning that no facts are changed, but valuable data is captured. The value of that information is then subject to the power of social collaborative voting, much like you would see in that of business or restaurant review on Yelp. The power of crowd self-governs the accuracy and effectiveness of the information provided.

This form of collaborative curation delivers a combination of high quality up-to-date facts, with softer but yet still valuable data that is self-governed. With some enterprises having tens of thousands of feet on the street, the quality of the data they can contribute back to the mothership can be better than information purchased through a third-party source. In those scenarios companies may even have the option of monetizing their data without really trying.

As companies move to reduce costs by laying off salespeople due to reduced demands for face-to-face interactions, those that continue to have ongoing contact with customers and prospects become even more valuable, not just to sell product and close deals. Armed with a new breed of data-driven applications, they just might be your most valuable data-driven asset and competitive advantage. 

How to Monetize Your Enterprise Data … Without Really Trying

Data monetization as described on Wikipedia “… generating revenue from available data sources or real-time streamed data by instituting the discovery, capture, storage, analysis, dissemination and use of that data. It is the process by which data producers, data aggregators and data consumers, large and small, exchange sell or trade data.”

There have been some very interesting articles around this topic, primarily focused on data gathered from the Internet of Things (IoT) as described in Cap Gemini’s presentation Extracting Value from the Connectivity Opportunity or mobile devices in Accenture’s piece Monetization in the Age of Big Data.

But did you know that any enterprise can tap into the data they manage and use to run their businesses as a recurring revenue stream? In order to do so, the data must be, among other things:

  • Reliable
  • Relevant
  • Segmented
  • Secure and anonymized if necessary

And there should be an easy way to distribute and make the data available for purchase either in batch or by-the-click “Amazon style”. But it doesn’t stop there, like any form of commerce customers of the data need to be able to provide feedback and rate the value and quality of the data.

Better still, wouldn’t it be great if the users of data could contribute back more accurate information in exchange for discounts on future purchases, making it a win-win for all.  

While getting there seems daunting, the first steps start with just improving the reliability and relevance of your internal data to improve your business operations. Using Data as a Service (DaaS) to bring in third-party data assets to enrich information for your data-driven applications, and allowing your employees to collaboratively curate data, optimizes the efficiency and cost of your internal operations.

From there you can turn your own data into an asset and even begin profiting from it. The technology that you previously used to bring in third-party data can be used to distribute and license your own data externally. Effectively making you a Data as a Service provider. The caveat of course that any technology you use, must provide full audit and lineage as to where the data originated from so that licensing rights are clear.

It can be done and chief data officers (CDOs) everywhere are starting to think in terms of not just using data to improve operational efficiency within their enterprise, but monetizing data as a significant revenue stream. To do this they are selecting cloud-based Modern Data Management Platform as a Service (PaaS) that include Data as a Service and data-driven applications that support collaborative curation.