Paul Lewis

Stairway to Value: Robots and other ways to create value by monetizing your data

Blog Post created by Paul Lewis Employee on May 23, 2018



Way too much of our day is convincing a robot that we are not a robot.


Please enter your username and password to verify and authenticate the use of this very important application for sharing random pictures of the food you are about to eat, that someone else prepared but to which you may claim as your own.


Now sit at least 3 feet from the screen because you now have to squint while wearing red and blue 3D glasses to retype the potential letters and numbers you see in the Rorschach diagram in the box above.  Now that you’ve passed this test, we need you to look at a 20X20 chart of pictures, and you select ones that have this specific shade of grey.  Great, now combine both the maiden name of your spouses grandmother with your best friend’s pet’s middle initial.  And finally, do you want to subscribe to our newsletter?


And then for the oddest reason, we need to check the box marked “I am not a robot”.




Sure, those steps will hold off the machines for a few months before they become sentient and figure out they could just check “yes” and no one would be the wiser.


Very few people would suggest that this security procedure isn’t valuable to the application or website.  It may possibly prevent a series of artificially intelligent bots from randomly posting their own gourmet pictures, or better yet discourage your friends from enabling any “auto like” scripts for the many pictures you post to avoid the political and social downfall of missing just one.


Of course, value to one isn’t value to all.  You may even ask: What is the value of anything?


THAT is a BIG question.


From an enterprise IT perspective, the term “value” carries a heavy weight.  Traditionally, the value of IT was derived from the ability to deliver, on time and on budget, a series of pre-determined and pre-qualified projects, usually estimated in late summer or early fall of the previous year.  They might also be deriving value from simply “keeping the lights on”, making sure the applications availability and performance was equal-to or greater-than corporate service level agreements.  Finally, the value derived from IT could simply be delivering relief of financial pressure, or remaining consistent on financial spend, the traditional bending of a “cost efficiency” curve.  Collectively, the traditional IT value might simply be referred to as being a VALUE PROVIDER.


Recently however, the CIO has been asked to evolve their organization from VALUE PROVIDER to VALUE CREATOR, and their own role from IT executive to Business executive.  Doing so requires shifting the focal point in IT from applications and/or infrastructure (where the value decreases over time as they ultimately need to be replaced) to Data (that increases in value over time, and as it grows).  This shift in focal point, requires a new strategy.


We recently introduced the Stairway to Value to guide organizations on their journey of generating value from a figurative fountain of wealth hidden in their enterprise data.


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(Note to the IT executive reader: while visually a single staircase, your progress through the strategy is HIGHLY correlated with the maturity and currency of your application portfolio.  More realistically, it would be a series of staircases, likely per line of business.  To avoid how weird that might actually look in a single diagram, take pleasure in the above simplicity)

  • STORE – To create value from data, it must reside in its best possible place, a purposeful destination.  It might be high performance storage for primary business data, edge appliances managing data closest to the machines, data lakes federating analytics across enterprise unstructured information, or directed to object storage to enable data mobility to people, places or things
  • ENRICH – As we mobilize business data, we need to decouple it from the originating application, and enrich it by adding CONTEXT, including all of its inherited characteristics allowing it to be easily searched, governed and secured separately from its intended purposes (of course with all the necessary regulatory and legal considerations)
  • ACTIVATE – Once abstracted, data can then be blending with other lines of business, integrated with your ecosystems of talent, technology and information.  Activation allows us to “connect the dots” and create insights.  You are in a search for nuggets of gold in a big pot of goodness using statistical, mathematical, and machine learning algorithms
  • MONETIZE – Insights are rarely valuable by themselves. Insights answer questions.  Insights highlight correlations. Insights prove a point.  Monetization, is the effort to turn Insights into VALUE by delivering true business outcomes, economically or strategically.


The Stairway to Value is realized through your Enterprise Information Management program and organization.  Your Enterprise information management (EIM) is an integrative discipline for structuring, describing and governing information assets across organizational and technological boundaries to improve efficiency, promote transparency and enable business insight.  EIM program focuses on how organizations MONETIZE and derive OUTCOMES from information


Specifically,  there are both growth oriented, and internal effectiveness OUTCOMES:



GROWTH ORIENTED outcomes derive value from:

  • Creating revenue from your information assets.  It may not be directly selling data, but it could be creating revenue BASED on information at your disposal.  Directing advertising assets by customer behaviour could create a new business model and revenue stream
  • Understanding your customer segments or product portfolio in more detail will create a more cherished and faithful relationship with your customers.  It may also help you attract customer segments that are choosing alternative digital disrupters in your industry to come back to you
  • Wrapping your product or service with data-centric insights creates stickiness and increases wallet share.  Being able to predict spending habits after selling a savings account, will likely keep a banking client interested


EFFECTIVENESS ORIENTED outcomes derive value from:

  • Finding that 15 minutes of operational savings in each 8 hour service delivery, isn’t just an efficiency savings.  That effectiveness OUTCOME will create more operational capacity to introduce MORE service offerings without effecting the base costs of operations.  The classic doing more with same.  When measured in $ Billions, that means growth
  • Correlation and causation analysis creates outcomes for better information security, and better overall business and macro economic predictors.
  • Champion / Challenger analysis create outcomes for better M&A target decisions, better investment decisions affecting the overall external heather perception of the company


Additionally, and in a more macro sense, monetizing your data may mean delivering on OPERATIONAL value from your IT assets, not just IT value.  Think of it as delivering IT for OT, not just IT for IT.




In combination: IT infrastructure + Applications + Vertical Expertise = Innovative Industry Solutions.



And so on…


Of course, Hitachi has over 50 years of experience in IT, and over 100 years of expertise in OT.  We build the machines that make our lives better, and develop the infrastructure and data services technology that brings it together. Because of our long-established expertise, we have an advantage over our competitors: We know data better than anyone.  Data drives our growth and our innovation as it does for you.  Data is Our Story. Data is Your Story. We are about OUTCOMES, your outcomes.


You want to know more?  Just hold the line….  Hi. This is Mickey, Paul Lewis’s virtual personal assistant. Paul is a little busy right now but I will add an item on his schedule to return your message as soon as you select all the pictures containing either clouds or greenery but NOT both. Have a good day!