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Digital business transformation is all the rage these days in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily because organizations realize it may still be months before they are able to engage physically with either end customers or suppliers. Projects that were once largely considered experimental are now core to business continuity plans for 2021 and beyond.

However, that focus on digital business transformation is starting to uncover some ugly truths concerning how poorly data is often managed. Much of the data that organizations are counting on to drive digital business transformation initiatives is disorganized. The fact is, most organizations today have all kinds of conflicting data residing in multiple so-called systems of record. A digital business process can’t be implemented if there isn’t a single source of truth that can be relied on.

A survey of 700 IT decision makers at organizations with annual revenues of more than $250 million, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Teradata, shines a light on the extent of the problem organizations face. More than 77 percent of respondents said data accuracy is under greater scrutiny. More than half of respondents (53 percent) admit that trust in the accuracy of data has been called into question since the start of the pandemic.

Further, a full 90 percent of respondents said there is greater realization of the increasing importance of data in the decision-making process since the onset of COVID-19. The same survey also notes nearly half of IT leaders (47 percent) concede decision making is being hampered because much of the data that business executives are looking to analyze, still resides in on-premises platforms rather than in the cloud. Not surprisingly, 82 percent of respondents are now accelerating decisions to move data and key business functions to the cloud as a direct result of the pandemic.

The survey also notes 88 percent of IT decision makers view data as a strategic asset to their business, with 95 percent regarding data as an essential asset and, perhaps more importantly, a key element of any recovery plan.

Data management processes require attention

Put it altogether and the survey makes it clear the quality of the data management processes any organization has in place is going to make all the difference. Organizations that don’t have any way of consistently managing data are not going to be able to transition toward digital processes that absolutely require accurate data. Customers and partners are not going to trust digital processes that continuously surface flawed data. They will just switch to another supplier they trust has reliable data.

Naturally, the increased need for end-to-end data management lifecycle capabilities creates a huge opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs). Organizations large and small need to solve their data management issues today. From data prep to backup and recovery, the need for best data management practices has become a pressing issue of first order magnitude.

The good news is IT organizations have already signaled their willingness to spend more on data management. The challenge and opportunity for MSPs now is to convince IT leaders that the best way to solve their data management issues is to rely on an MSP to address a problem once and for all, that organizations have shown time and again they are unable to solve for themselves.

Photo: turgaygundogdu / Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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