There’s been talk lately about data becoming “the new oil” because it’s the most valuable commodity an organization can possess. The challenge is that just like oil most data only becomes truly valuable once it gets refined.
A new report from the Enterprise Data Management (EDM) Council suggests that the financial services sector is making progress putting the infrastructure and processes in place to refine data. The survey of 150 financial institutions finds that 70 percent of the respondents have appointed a chief data officer (CDO).
Only 43 percent say they are seeing strong and growing collaboration across IT, operations, control functions, and lines of business around data management integration, though. And, only 8 percent say they have achieved the harmonization of meaning of data across all internal repositories. Just 13 percent have achieved the definition and implementation of control procedures for managing data quality. Clearly, much hard work still needs to be done.
The good news is the financial services sector is usually a reliable indicator for what’s likely to occur across other verticals. As more organizations implement digital business strategies, they’re discovering that appointing someone to who thinks of data as a strategic asset is crucial their success. In addition, many organizations now are aware the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) set to be implemented by the European Union in May 2018 requires organizations to appoint a chief data officer.
How MSPs can capitalize
It’s in the interest of managed service providers to encourage organizations to appoint a chief data officer sooner than later. After all, companies with a CDO are more likely to appreciate the services of MSPs that have data management expertise. Most organizations have historically done a poor job of managing data. Once appointed, most CDOs discover their organizations don’t have a consistent approach to protecting data, let alone managing it. Before long, chief data officers realize they have a pressing need for the data management expertise of an MSP.
Of course, chief data officer isn’t necessarily a specific job title. It’s more often a role inside an organization. Sometimes that role is assumed by a chief information officer or even a chief marketing officer. MSPs need to identify that person quickly because that’s where the authority to allocate budget for data management will lie. If it looks like no one in the organization is explicitly accountable for managing data, MSPs may want to apply a data management capability assessment model to help determine if the customer will be more trouble than they’re worth. After all, organizations that don’t respect the value of their own data aren’t likely to value the services of the MSP managing it.
It may take a while for CDOs to become more common across every vertical industry. But the fact the role exists at all suggests that MSPs with data management expertise will soon find their services in much higher demand across the board.
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