Follow The Money, Follow The Data

On top of the trade-offs between doing it fast and doing it well, there is also the challenge of doing it securely.

DATA
Professor Herman Singh

In a world prioritising agility and speed to market, businesses today are challenged in balancing doing it fast, doing it well, and doing it securely.

In trying to innovate there is huge pressure on businesses to be agile, but with that comes a risk that because we move so fast we will make mistakes. The motto ‘move fast and break things’, attributed to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, is not what most organisations want to do.

By using DDDM – data driven decision making, organisations need to be using observability tools and extracting meaning, going from data, to information, to knowledge, to wisdom.

Historically, most of the data we used was descriptive and gave us information in hindsight, which is helpful because it tells you what went wrong. But we also want insight to understand why it went wrong, as well as foresight which allows us to predict what might go wrong in future. We need to move from historical to current and on to predictive, preventative, and prescriptive.

When organisations effectively deploy DDDM to drive strategy, they can allocate resources to the innovations that will add value, and they can do so quickly.

One of the tech giant’s – with a market value in excess of $150 Bn – is a good example of this: having experienced massive growth in just a matter of weeks, the company used vast amounts of real, hard data to make sense of what its users want and what they prioritise, and even what users don’t yet know they want.

But speed should not always be a company’s first priority.  A key question is: what does speed mean? Speed is a relative thing: three months might be fast for one product and slow to market with another. Organisations need to meet customer expectations of speed, be fast enough to outpace competitors, and also be cognisant of how fast criminals are working to compromise this. In some respects, it is an arms race.

Organisations that can innovate rapidly enough to exceed customer expectations, beat competitors, and stay ahead of criminals are winning. They don’t necessarily have to be any faster than that, indeed companies like Apple are known for stating that you don’t always have to be bleeding edge, instead you must be leading edge and get it right.

On top of the trade-offs between doing it fast and doing it well, there is also the challenge of doing it securely. In some cases, 100% security will be sacrificed for customer convenience. Our ability to collect data from customers is completely overwhelming our ability to protect that same data. The problem is that it has become so easy to collect data, put cookies down, track people and analyse their phone apps, that we have created a tsunami of data. The challenge is how we protect it and use it responsibly, while not impacting user experience and convenience. Centralised data-driven security, using analytics and automation is necessary to help balance innovation and user experience with security, so companies do not have to make trade-offs that could put them at risk.

  • Professor Herman Singh, CEO of Future Advisory

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