Approaching 2019, Executives Fret Over Data Quality and Availability

fighting-the-plague-of-bad-data

In recent weeks, several voices raised concern that CIOs and other leaders are unprepared for the data challenges of 2019.

As more systems move to the cloud, companies save money. But they also encounter new challenges. Can the cloud system connect with on-premises systems? Does consistently accurate data make a 360-degree view of customers and the company possible? And what about data security?

This fall, the federal government updated its cloud computing strategy, recognizing that increased adoption of cloud computing among federal agencies can save money, enhance security, and enable the faster delivery of services. “The ability to evaluate, consume, and share knowledge is the driver of success in private sector IT modernization efforts,” the strategy statement says. “The Federal Government’s approach should be no different.”

The Cost of Bad Data

Thankfully, you don’t need to manage the data strategy of hundreds of agencies and units in the federal government. But companies have known for years about the problems that bad data causes. Flawed data costs the national economy $3 trillion per year and costs companies an astounding 20% of their revenue.

As we approach 2019, CIOs are getting serious about the need to get control over organizational data.

The Impending Cloud Integration Crisis

Seven years ago the technology world foresaw the need to integrate on-premises systems with cloud systems, as more companies were moving to the cloud, according to David Linthicum, chief cloud strategy officer at Deloitte Consulting.

Despite that need for integration, many businesses have still neglected to connect those systems, causing data degradation, among other problems. Linthicum says, “This will become a crisis in 2019 for many enterprises, because they can spend the entire year, or more, just pulling together integration solution for their public cloud systems—which they now depend on for some mission-critical processes.”

The Race to Embrace Digital Transformation and Integration

One result of not having those integrations is that data science teams often operate within their own divisions, performing their own analyses without considering data from other units within the organization. These siloed activities reveal an incomplete picture.

Meanwhile, peer companies, embracing digital transformation, integrate systems across the organization. As a result, they have a competitive advantage over businesses that perform analytics within silos.

Mary Shacklett of Transworld Data speaks of the race to adopt digital transformation and to integrate systems across the organization.

With digital transformation in full force, there are now new market pressures to perform these integrations faster and with greater accuracy.… System integration and the associated cost, time and complexity continues to challenge companies. This process has only grown more complex with digitization and the adoption of hybrid IT architectures that now require IT to integrate different cloud platforms with its internal data center systems.

The challenge of integrating such systems overwhelms in-house IT development teams. Shacklett recommends a different approach: “Companies will never get on top of the data piling up from digitization if they expect IT to manually perform data integration. While there is a place for doing some systems integration ‘by hand,’ there are also tools in the market.” A key step in digital transformation is “finding a tool that meets your particular needs.”

Data Quality and Security Are At Risk

Without making use of such tools, data quality is a continuous problem for CIOs. And with the continuing rise in cloud computing, data security is a constant concern. The high level of risk associated with these two issues, data quality and data security, led Gartner to feature them within their five risk areas to watch for 2019.

A growing reliance on big data and its benefits highlights the critical importance of employing effective data governance. But only 37% of businesses have a formal framework for data governance in place.

It’s no wonder that poor data quality is a plague. Gartner estimates that “97% of business decisions are based on data of unacceptable quality.” The resulting inefficiency, missed opportunities, and operational drag is costly.

An Opportunity for IT Executives

Chances are that your company regularly deals with the frustrations of data quality and availability. But so do your competitors.

Fortunately, you can take steps to get ahead. For example, Gartner estimates that companies can eliminate 80% of data errors through adequate governance.

An integration solution can connect your systems securely, preserving data quality and making data available for analytics, knowledge management, and a host of other use cases.

Want to know how secure integrations can support data governance in your business? Let’s get in touch.

Alfredo Deambrosi