Paul Lewis

Why a Data Strategy for Digital Transformation?

Blog Post created by Paul Lewis Employee on Oct 17, 2016



It does seems like a coincidence that HDS advises that the CIO and client technology leadership should create a Data Strategy for Digital Transformation to elevate the value of data from the "side effect" (what happens when you close click "save") to replacing APPLICATIONS as the main purpose and deliverable of the entire technology organization with DATA. We are recommending: Move the IT asset and intellectual property from source code, features and functions *to* data, and deriving and discovering business value.


So how to describe why this shift of IT "purpose" bridges the gap between business outcomes of Digital Transformation (processes and logistics, customer experience, new business models) and the IT Operating model (app dev vs infra ops, org chart by stack)?


Use this simple comparison on Longevity and Depth of value of IT Assets:


- Infrastructure (any one) lasts 2 - 3 years, can be sweat to 5 to 7 years. The longer you sweat, the more complex and the expensive it becomes: risk of failure, currency, lack of vendor support, skill set. As you add more infrastructure, the more complex and expensive it is to operate: more people, more power, more space. Infrastructure is not the purpose of IT.


- Applications (any one) lasts 5 - 7 years, can be sweat 10 to 12 years.  The longer you sweat, the more complex and expensive it becomes: risk of performance problems, risk of security gaps, currency of programming language, skill set. As you add more applications the likelihood of overlap functionality increases exponentially creating an application rationalization, simplification and modernization problem, removing all capability to create new value. Applications, while deriving value for end users, is not the  purpose of IT


- Data, on the other hand, has no end life. It's value is apparent the second its created up to and including the very point it's deleted. As we add more data, the more valuable it becomes. More and faster data increases accuracy of decisions adding precision to models, exponentially creates "nuggets of gold" in mountains of information, adds context for correlation, and ultimately increasing the odds of discovering valuable insights. Data IS the purpose of IT.


Data is the source of discovering how to understand the service logistics and the impact of disruption. Data is the source of discovering customer behaviour and challenging it with new experiences. Data is the source of executing on champion/challenger business model changes.


Our clients need a Data Strategy for Digital Transformation (management, governance, mobility, and analytics wrapped in Agile IT) to comprehend, plan, and create capabilities to deliver on the business outcomes of Digital Transformation.




The only coincidence is that Data is our middle name. But it certainly makes us the expert.