"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" - Charles Caleb Colton
"It's not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives, it is the one that is most adaptable to change"
Thinking back over the last several years its interesting to reflect on the incredible impact of technology across all facets of business -
- Enterprises have embraced digital transformation with urgency digitizing key elements of their businesses which have allowed them to better serve their customers and accelerate the development of their people
- Employees have accelerated their development and career prospects by harnessing the vast amount of education available through MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) as well as the rich trove of perspectives and opinion available on social media, consumable on any device, anywhere
- Consumers have embraced the vast reach of the internet to conduct research and connect with each other around the world allowing them to acquire more insight than ever before walking into a store or placing an online order
- All industries have realized the potential to accelerate revenue, manage cost and mitigate risk by driving deeper inspection and analysis of their operations, their customers and their employees
- The cloud and open source development community have made innovation virtually free, opening the flood gates for developers from all walks of life to launch their projects and eat into the market share previously protected by traditional "barriers to entry"
- Looking to the future, pervasive bandwidth and low cost sensors open the doors for the Internet-of-things. This next era of technology provides yet another opportunity to transform all machines into intelligent machines opening up a whole new world of personalization, operational efficiency and security
Looking at all of this what becomes evident is that while the traditional corporate maxim of a "Core Competency" may be dissolving, a new one is emerging -
Return on Data
An organization's ability to get maximum leverage from its data allowing the data itself to be the catalyst for transformation. The returns from this transformation, increased revenues, reduced costs, minimized risk come together to form an organizations "Return on Data"
No doubt that there is tremendous potential here but there are a also a few major hurdles that have emerged -
- Compliance and Governance rules and regulations continue to expand with severe penalties tied to data breaches or inappropriate use of data. This not only applies to traditional industry compliance but also most recently GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) that applies to data pertaining to all European citizens.
- Multi-Cloud architectures complicate the ability for organizations to manage the chain-of-custody and lifecycle of their data from acquisition through to effective disposal. This includes not only Iaas and PaaS cloud (AWS, Google, Azure) but also SaaS Clouds (Salesforce.com, Office365, Marketo)
- Consumer sentiment presents a treasure trove of insight but sits outside the walls of the corporation on the open internet on websites and social media (Twitter, LinkedIN, Facebook, Instagram)
- A large percentage of data growth is "unstructured"; photos, videos, audio recordings, office productivity documents. This data cannot easily be searched
- A significant amount of data is time sensitive requiring immediate action in order to deliver value making its use difficult in remote locations with low bandwidth or high latency
- Connecting data across disparate sources continues to get more complicated - Data integration now extends way beyond traditional relational databases extending to Hadoop, open streaming social media and streaming sensor data
At Hitachi we represent over 100 years of Operational Excellence in Transportation, Water, Healthcare, Energy and Social Innovation. In addition, we represent over 50 years of IT experience with over 80% of the Fortune 500 relying on our infrastructure to keep their businesses running 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.
In 2017, Hitachi made an incredibly strategic decision to unify our IT solutions (Hitachi Data Systems, Pentaho, Insight Group) under a single corporation Hitachi Vantara; unilaterally focus on helping our clients to drive maximum value from their data. Our differentiated proposition in the marketplace is demonstrated by our world-class brand centered on reliability, our portfolio breadth and our success and ongoing commitment to innovation that drives benefits to society as a whole.
To help illustrate this proposition we formulated our "Data Stairway to Value" showing the ability for organizations to leverage Hitachi Vantara as a strategic partner not to just STORE and PROTECT their data (IT Agility) but to ENRICH data (Data Agility), ACTIVATE and MONETIZE DATA (Business Agility).
Over the last 12 months we have seen many traditional storage companies reshape their messaging towards data and in some cases even calling themselves data companies. We get it, data is a cool place to be right now! However, at the end of the day to truly call yourself a data company you need to go beyond storage and beyond data protection...you need to show significant investments in data enrichment and integration platforms...you need show a clear path to extend data services beyond the walls of the data center, to the cloud and eventually to the edge. In a nutshell, you need to show a clear connection to customers accelerating their "return on data".