The Importance of Data in Digital Disruption

Business has changed. Today, almost every CEO is talking about the potential of an Uber or Airbnb disrupting their business. Disruptors win because they put data at their core. How can you remain relevant?

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In today’s business environment, I am seeing more and more enterprises realize there are new rules for an industry they once dominated. Business capabilities can no longer be considered things that once discovered, only need to be perfected. As new businesses look for areas to grow, they are increasingly colliding with storied legacy businesses. This means that business capabilities need to be reviewed and reconsidered regularly based on marketplace change. Put simply, business capabilities need to grow and change. This is where data can play a big role. According to Steven Krupp and Paul Schoemaker, authors of Winning the Long Game, successful businesses “need to integrate, build, and reconfigure competencies in order to succeed in rapidly changing environments.”

Alan Murray, editor of Fortune Magazine, has found that only 43% of the Fortune 500 from 1995 are left standing today (Fortune Magazine, June 15, 2015, page 16). In fact, he says the average life span of companies in the S&P 500 has already fallen from 61 years in 1958 to 20 years today. And it will fall further. As industries collide, the motto is “disrupt or be disrupted.”

Today, timely, accurate, and relevant data is the fuel of a successful business. The question is, “Is your business ready for a digital disruptor challenging your space?” It is becoming more and more clear that those organizations most likely to be disrupted do not have data as part of their core.  This is highlighted by Murray in his conversations with CEOs, who say they are all technology companies now (Fortune Magazine, December 1, 2015, page 8). Those CEOs are in the “data business.”

Disruption can sneak up on you. Knowing what to look for is key. One great place to start is at The Data Disruption Summit on May 25th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The summit, sponsored by Capgemini, brings together the best minds on using data to fuel disruptive business strategies. Speakers include: 

  • Jeanne Ross, author of Creating a Foundation for Business Execution and Enterprise Architecture as Strategy, and Research Director & Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management, MIT Center for Information Systems Research
  • Vijay Gurbaxani, Director, Center for Digital Transformation, University of California, Irvine, The Paul Merage School of Business
  • Gwen Thomas, Founder of The Data Governance Institute
  • Derek Strauss, CDO of TD Ameritrade
  • Jorgen Heizenberg, Netherlands CTO, Capgemini Insights and Data
  • Gene Leganza, Vice President, Research Director, Forrester
  • Jim Davis, CMO, Informatica, and author of Information Revolution: Using the Information Evolution Model to Grow Your Business

If you would like to join in on the conversation, sign up here: please click the following Web Link.

If you are interested in additional reading on the topic of digital disruption, let me suggest some books. Klaus Schwab, author of The Fourth Industrial Revolution, does a great job at looking at all aspects of disruption—economic, business, national and global, society, and individual. A book worth reading that I mentioned earlier is Winning at the Long Game by Steven Krupp. It provides great insights into the role of leadership in digital disruption. And last but not least, Building the Digital Enterprise by Mark Skilton provides a detailed look into the emerging digital economy.

Parting remarks

We’re still in the early days of digital disruption. The emergence of new business models for early-stage disruptors is causing it to catch fire. I hope I have provided some places to garner more information. And, if you can attend the Data Disruption Summit on May 25th, I look forward to meeting you in person.

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