Here's What Your Favourite Sports Team can Teach You about Digital Transformation
By Matthew Johnston, Area Vice President, ASEAN & Korea, Commvault
Blame it on my Australian roots, but in my opinion, rugby as it is today is one of the most exciting contact sports in existence. It is the perfect mix of the speed and movement of soccer and the hard-hitting physical nature of American football. It definitely gets my pulse racing just from cheering my favourite team on from the comforts of my living room!
However, no matter your game of choice–soccer, rugby, or cricket–sports can easily be likened to a modern battle of wit, stamina, and teamwork. And hey, play hard or go home, right?
Just like in sports, where teams try to outdo, outrun, and outplay another team, businesses are also on the quest to emerge the winner in today’s digital era. According to IDC, 60 percent of Asia-Pacific’s top 1,000 enterprises will have Digital Transformation (DX) at the centre of their corporate strategy by the end of 2017. In fact, two-thirds of Asia-based CIOs will initiate a data and governance transformation to turn information into a competitive business differentiator.
With the expansion of digital lifestyles, the world is generating more data than ever. This brings new challenges and tremendous opportunities for businesses to store, manage, protect, and leverage their data. For businesses, this unprecedented rush of data is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, data-related issues can cause inefficiencies that may see the business lagging behind competitors, or be implicated in data loss and breaches. On the other hand, data can become a strategic asset and bring huge benefits to companies, if managed well.
As big data becomes more mainstream, business and technology leaders are shifting their focus away from hype to finding value. Gartner’s survey found that more than 80 percent of its respondents weren’t sure whether the ROI of their data expenses would be positive or negative, making it difficult to even ascertain the value of big data projects.
So, in today’s hyper-digital business environment where digital transformation is set to disrupt every industry, how can companies ensure that they emerge champions? How can businesses efficiently extract value from data, without increasing cost and complexity?
Taking some cues from the best sporting teams this year, here’re some tips for businesses embarking on a digital transformation journey.
1: Playing the Data Game Requires Teamwork
In November, the Ireland team executed a brilliant game plan against the All Blacks, heralding their first win against New Zealand in 111 years. Wonderful as the Irish performance was, a win like this against the All Blacks required more than muscle or wit.
In particular, the team exhibited teamwork when they piled forward in a green frenzy, drawing on one another for strength as they formed a figure eight in tribute to the late Anthony Foley.
Likewise, playing the data game also requires team effort. For the majority of businesses, true transformation begins when an organisation comes together to understand data and how it can make each employee’s job easier and better. Only when data becomes part of the DNA of an organisation can the full potential of it be realised.
According to IDC, 40 percent of companies across Asia-Pacific are still managing backup, recovery, data protection, and analytics strategies at a departmental level. Businesses need to move from a siloed data management approach to an integrated one. There’s no better time than now to get all players in the business–human resources, operations, and finance, among others–in on the game plan.
2: Is Your Team Speaking the Same Language?
No matter the type of sport, a team’s ability to communicate has a direct impact on its success. This is especially applicable to rugby, where teams can go from defending, to attacking, then back to being on the defense in the span of a few seconds. Nowhere is communication within the team more vital than in the lineout. When throwing the ball from a lineout, players need to alert their team members on when and where to anticipate the ball, yet without making it too obvious to the opposing team where the throw-in will go.
As your company embarks on its digital transformation journey, effective communication between your IT team and the rest of the business is the key. Adopting a common vocabulary and equipping teams with the necessary data skill sets are essential to fostering a data-driven culture.
Management should do its part by insisting on data-based reports from all departments, instead of accepting bare opinions or gut-feel. It is only by connecting all key processes–problem definition, solution approach and design, and action/change management with insights from data–that organisations can fully leverage data as a strategic asset to improve existing models.
3: Build Your Winning Team
If you’re a serious sports fan, perhaps you might have felt from time to time that you could’ve made a better manager for your favourite team. Perhaps you’ve even tried your hand at drafting a fantasy team, deciding on your own unique team of players based on their skills, abilities, and areas of expertise. You would likely consider how they fit together as a team, and made sure their strengths complemented another player’s weakness. And, while some skills could be honed, you might also find it worthwhile to regularly check in on the transfer market.
Similarly, as the volume and complexity of your organisation’s data increases, your company may want to ensure they are adopting the most productive yet cost-effective data management model– be it on-premise, cloud, or hybrid.
In building your winning data management strategy, companies should look for a solution that can accommodate the different types of data within their organisation and assess whether this data needs to be accessed regularly or once every several years, etc. These considerations will then dictate where the data should reside. Organisations that adopt a single data management platform may find that they can get a comprehensive look at their data environment while cutting through complexities in data management, thus, facilitating their digital transformation journey.
Data, no doubt, lies at the core of any digital transformation. CIOs must invest in effective data strategies and engage themselves in the technical, organisational, and human aspects of digital reforms.
The pace of digital transformation shows no signs of slowing. Yet, many companies are still struggling to optimise their data investments and adjust to the speed of the information explosion. Given the capabilities that the right data management solutions can deliver, CIOs must make sure their organisations are not left behind. The good news is that they don’t have to do this alone. With the right data management partner, the race for competitive advantage is still up for grabs.
Founded in 1996, Commvault (NASDAQ: CVLT) is headquartered in Tinton Falls, U.S. The company offers data protection and information management solutions to mid and enterprise-level organizations worldwide