I’ve been reading a lot of 2014 predictions posts lately, and one that struck me recently is the latest from Mark Hurd, president at Oracle.
He touches on three of the most critical factors impacting every aspect of business today:
- The explosive growth of data (Hurd estimates data is growing by 40% each year)
- The influx of a younger, tech-dependent workforce
- The new devices that are changing how and where work
Some people may call these trends, rather than factors, but the more important consideration is when these trends converge to create a tipping point, where data strategy becomes a top corporate priority.
The volatility and volume of data has always been a persistent problem – and is only getting worse. Companies are constantly trying to understand what data matters most, how to find and incorporate it into the systems already in use and most importantly how to keep it current, updated and usable. Marketing, sales, operations and the supply chain all face the same challenge.
While this may be considered old news, the most successful businesses are finally treating data for what it truly is: the backbone of any company. That’s why Mark Hurd is asking CEOs to become champions for data:
“The necessary changes go right to the heart of the economics of IT strategy and traditions and will require sweeping new approaches; and, this new type of approach will require fresh and decisive thinking about viewing data as a highly valuable raw material that can be shaped into products and services that customers want and need.”
Hurd challenges the CEO to address these factors head-on, but it trickles down to every level and department of a business, too. “Revolution” is a big word, after all – and change is never easy. What new roles, process and priorities will be created to support this new world order remains to be seen.
But Oracle, SAP and Microsoft are leading the charge, helping businesses to rethink their systems and processes so they can excel in this new normal – one step at a time.
Photo credit katgrigg