It’s no wonder organizations aspire to thrive on data, to be data-powered enterprises. With every business now being a de facto Technology Business, data obviously is at its core. Dare we say, every Business is a Data Business? Look at the facts: data powers superior customer experiences, highly tuned operations, and smart, self-optimizing products and services. Data provides resilience, predictability, and effectiveness, but equally enables organizations to achieve their sustainability ambitions. It also helps their potentially scarce human resources to achieve the best, most satisfying results. With that, it’s tempting to declare data to be “just” the new, corporate asset. But assets tend to be stacked, isolated, and safely put away. It’s much better to see data as a first-class product; owned, managed, and activated by business domains, and shared in lively exchanges inside and outside the organization.

When dealing with data, it’s good to start with proper definitions. Data is the digital representation of an organization’s past and present, encompassing its processes and interactions with customers, ecosystem, and the market. Also, a “data-powered enterprise” is an organization that creates, processes, and leverages data proactively to achieve its business objectives, drive innovation, and fulfill its corporate purpose. It is certainly advantageous to be one. Our Capgemini Research Institute noted in its Data-powered Enterprise report that the trailblazers, the “data masters,” see a 70% higher revenue per employee, a 245% higher fixed asset turnover, and 22% more profitability. Even more importantly, they achieve a 20% decrease in customer churn, and a 19% increase in customer satisfaction. They also enjoy a 19% employee productivity enhancement, and 16% more operational efficiency. The list goes on – did we mention cost savings and better sales?

All the more reason for a continuous state of data-induced euphoria. If only it wasn’t so difficult to achieve

data mastery. Yes, many organizations create data foundations: managing data sources, implementing technology, setting up governance, assuring data quality. But activating data at the heart of the business strategy, having people in in the operations to embrace, trust, and use data for all their business purposes, is a different ball game – let alone monetizing data, and building a company-wide data-loving culture.

It puts this data activation at the heart of all trends: Sharing and collaborating on data in all sorts of different internal and external ecosystems is one way to turn data from an asset into a first-class product. It gets more value out of data, but also drives achieving key sustainability goals. Increasingly powerful self-service tools bring data where it should be – close to the business – on an enterprise scale. This is not only instrumental to creating a data-powered culture, but it also addresses the scarcity of deeply skilled data specialists.

It goes together with the move towards federated management of data across the organization, bringing ownership and control of data to the domain where it belongs, held together through company-wide open standards and rock-solid, automated platform services. Ever evolving algorithms – built and trained on data – show what activation really looks like. Advanced breakthroughs in technology, for example in autonomous devices and battling climate change (see our research report), are due to the latest in algorithms and AI. Then, as its pièce de résistance, AI systems work together to create and generate text, video, audio, test data, and program code. It makes humans thrive in their most creative tasks and endeavors, including those who didn’t have the means or ways to do so before.

Ron Tolido Expert in Residence

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