How CIOs Can Enable The Information-Driven Enterprise

By Jason Compton

IT industry leaders are under significant pressure from top executives, board members and other internal stakeholders to increase access to information across their organizations to improve business results.

It's a responsibility CIOs aren't taking lightly. According to the Deloitte 2016-2017 CIO Survey, 70% of respondents said that improving business processes was a “core expectation" of the CIO and the IT organization as a whole. That's more than any other response, including cybersecurity (61%), cost reduction (67%), and business innovation (57%).

CIOs are looking for ways to make information in their custody more valuable, accessible and relevant to the business. It's the dawn of the information-driven enterprise.

“The information-driven enterprise is turning the CIO's focus to business process improvement, helping information be more available and more relevant to lines of business," said Danielle Wolowitz, vice president of corporate marketing at KYOCERA Document Solutions America, Inc.

Here's a look at how CIOs can turn their IT stewardship into leadership, while turning information into more valuable business assets.

Don't Sweat The Data, Worry About Management Instead

In the past, CIOs were challenged to simply deliver reliable data storage and backup, which meant internal business customers weren't as demanding about service levels for access and retrieval.

Business user expectations are higher today, given the dramatic increases in both local storage density — with 10 terabytes of storage or more available on a single hard drive or SSD — and cloud storage solutions continuing to evolve in both capacity and pricing.

CIOs need to shift their thinking about the ongoing management, curation and retrieval of information to meet those demands.

“There's not a whole lot of value to having electronic documents if you don't have access to them," said Bob Diaz, Kyocera's director of enterprise accounts.

In the information-driven enterprise, CIOs will be prized (or criticized) for their ability to provide transparency and access to information that's curated to the right stakeholders based on their role and automated processes, while also ensuring proper data archiving or destruction.

Target Manual Processes

“CIOs can start the transformation by rooting out inefficiencies in the organization. Surveying business leaders and front-line employees about the hassles and roadblocks they face turning information into action is a great place to start,” Wolowitz said.

“Even the most advanced tech companies have some manual processes—often dealing with expenses, or publishing content, or pricing out products," she goes on to explain. “There's always information that can be handled more efficiently."

Anticipate Greater Complexity

CIOs are often called upon to break down silos and blind alleys of data storage, application hosting and tech-driven processes. But CIOs given free rein to completely re-mold their information landscape at will are in the minority.

Less than half of the survey respondents said simplifying IT infrastructure and applications was a key business priority. This suggests that, as the information-driven enterprise grows, there will still be a need for point solutions.

“There are still hundreds of cases in a typical enterprise where a very specific department will be using a very specific app and need data connectors to help them solve a specific business problem," Diaz said.

CIOs can mitigate the ongoing overhead of this complexity by working with integrated information management infrastructures designed for rapid development and easy access to pre-built data integration connectors. New hires in these platforms also provide labor-saving solutions such as automated workflows and automated information indexing.

Focus On Tangible Victories

IT leaders cringe at massive data-oriented overhauls because so many organizations have been burned by large-scale application and data warehouse implementations gone awry with years of delays and cost overruns.

“Scope creep can become as large as the project itself," Wolowitz said. “Start with one or two things so it's not as scary. These are not overnight fixes, and they need a phased approach."

Today's information-driven enterprise approach emphasizes making the most of information assets already on hand. That includes finding ways to improve workflows and speeding up execution in incremental, tangible ways.

This article was originally published on Forbes Kyocera Brand Voice.


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