According to the results of a new survey conducted by VMware, almost three-quarters (70%) of organizations in Europe struggle to unlock the potential of their data, with a direct impact on their ability to innovate.
According to the results of a new VMware survey (AVAILABLE HERE) involving 100 C-level Forbes Top 2000 companies in Europe, nearly three-quarters (70%) of organizations struggle to unlock the potential of their data, with a direct impact on their ability to innovate. Nearly a third (30%) of the business leaders surveyed cite cost reduction as their number one strategic goal; however, with the threat of a possible economic downturn caused by the international crisis, better use of data could be a solution to enable innovation in the short and long term. 59% of respondents said that organizations that are prioritizing data-driven decision-making are gaining market share, and 58% fear falling behind the competition if they don't make better use of data. The inability to turn ideas into new products, services and strategies that keep pace with market needs continues to pose a risk to organizations. This gap between innovation and execution, first highlighted in 2018 in the "Innovating in the Exponential Economy" report presented by Bayes Business School and VMware, increases within organizations that have difficulty using data. According to the business leaders surveyed, for the next two years, four of the seven top strategic business goals will require the availability of accurate, relevant, and timely data to support decision-making, from understanding the workforce and productivity to improving the customer experience. 52% encourage their teams to be more innovative and find new ways to bring products, services and strategies to market. "Most companies are not short of innovative ideas. The reality is that despite progress in the concrete implementation of ideas, the gap between innovation and execution remains due to a certain digital skills shortage, the presence of rigid infrastructure, and various constraints and risks associated with data sovereignty and compliance," said Professor Feng Li, Chair of Information Management at Bayes. Business School of the City University of London, which signed the preface of the new VMware study that follows the first edition published in 2018. "Interestingly, having too much data available today, and having difficulty accessing the most critical data today is considered one of the main obstacles to be addressed and that the current technology stack of many organizations prevents them from becoming more data-driven, with the result of losing strategic opportunities." Barriers to the success of data-driven innovation Barriers to data management and use ("data barriers") include organizations that have too much data available (according to 83% of business leaders), difficulty accessing the right data (74%), and technological constraints (60%). Data sovereignty, when data stored or collected is subject to the privacy laws and governance structures of a nation, industry or organization, is also cited as a top concern, with national (76%) and industry (67%) directives highlighted as significant barriers to realizing the data value itself. Joe Baguley, VP and CTO EMEA at VMware, said: "Innovation cannot be sidelined, especially in times of economic crisis. It is something that runs through the DNA of a company, which requires time, the right culture, the right processes and technologies to promote it and ensure its success. It's not something to flaunt, a simple nice-to-have, but it's what creates a competitive advantage, attracts and retains employees, and realizes shared value. Any transformation, whether it's a radical organizational change or finding new ways to reduce costs and optimize processes, is based on a digital infrastructure that can support informed decision-making. Data does this. If business leaders can make the best use of the data they have to make decisions and improve data literacy across the organization, they will be equally able to overcome challenges such as data sovereignty restrictions, and will be in a better position to realize a tangible business advantage from their investments in innovation." "In the Italian business ecosystem, which is highly heterogeneous and characterized by the presence of companies of different sizes and with different degrees of digitization, the challenge for efficient data management and use is even greater," said Rodolfo Rotondo, Business Solutions Strategy Director VMware EMEA. "On the other hand, we are strongly aware that the country has always been the cradle of creativity and innovation, conceived as real resources in social and economic development. To continue to stand out in the market, it is critical that companies implement the right processes and technologies to become more data-driven. Only in this way, and through an intense work of promotion of digital skills in the territory that only a synergy between public and private can achieve, it is possible to realize traditional innovation efforts and achieve successful business results". Bridging the gap between innovation and execution To ensure that data is not an obstacle to innovation efforts, it is essential to focus on people, processes and technologies in order to bridge the gap between ideas and the realisation of tangible impact. Once this connection is established, organizations will not only be able to derive value from their data, but also use it to enable greater levels of innovation. 64% of companies in Europe use artificial intelligence and machine learning to make informed decisions. "Companies that can grasp the potential of all this – and do so at the right time – will certainly increase their presence and market share," commented the Chief Medical Officer of a Swiss healthcare company, interviewed as part of the survey. "These organizations will be in an advantageous position over their competitors. Higher data quality, optimized data management and ensuring customer privacy improve each company's reputation, increasing revenues." vmware