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Why Being Data Driven is Important to Digital Transformation

digital transformation

Guest Post by Jonathan Brown, VP of Research at TechTarget

Digital Transformation is ushering in a new wave for firms that are competing and setting themselves up to win by being data driven.  Firms that are considering digital transformation (and who isn’t?) would do well to evaluate their data management infrastructure, increase investments in security, and consider the creating a role analogous to one occupied by the chief data officer.

TechTarget Research conducted its annual study of IT spending priorities for 2018 and looked at how organizations were implementing Digital Transformation.  Unlike previous industry trends –  Cloud Computing (historical infographic here) and  BYOD/Consumerization of IT, where IT was caught off guard by the advancements in technology, with Digital Transformation there is evidence that businesses and IT are being proactive in their investments.  But what exactly are they investing in and what are they hoping for in return?

The Data Driven Side of Digital Transformation

The Data Driven Side of Digital Transformation

Over half (53%) of business leaders associate enhancing customer experience and loyalty, followed by innovation enhancement (48%), internal process improvements (47%), productivity enhancement (42%) and access to new customers (40%) with their digital transformation efforts.   Since digital transformation, at its heart, is about the creation and leverage of data as the core of business processes, let’s look more closely at it.

Evidence of Being Data Driven

What is most interesting is to see that the top broad initiative of these firms is investments Big Data and Business Analytics with 30% of firms making significant investments this year.  This directly reflects that organizations understand the managing, manipulating, and extracting value from data is important. These investments are happening concurrently with digital transformation efforts.

Top IT Growth Areas of 2018

The areas of greatest change in investment plans for 2018 are AI/Machine learning & robotics process automation and security.  Application based security, Secure POS, deception technologies and Threat Intelligence all project a greater than 50% growth in the number of organizations that intend to invest in these security measures in 2018.  What we are witnessing is organizations investing in security, compliance, data management and manipulation technologies to support digital transformation. We are also seeing the creation of the Chief Data Officer position.  In one global pharmaceutical firm we recently spoke to, the Chief Data Officer reports to the CEO and not to the CIO. Arguably, a firm with a Chief Data Officer recognizes the importance of being a data driven organization.


Jonathan Brown is VP of Research at TechTarget.  You can contact him here if you’d like to get a copy of the research that was presented at Actifio’s recent Data Driven conference held in June 2018.


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