Before embarking on digital transformation, understand the full repertoire of available data tools and be clear on how you will consolidate and manage your data.

Also, be sure your infrastructure takes future trends in data management into account so you won’t have to do frequent overhauls. The data foundation must stand on its own, without relying on IT to undertake multiple provisioning projects every time you make a change.

Beyond the technology, digital transformation requires all parts of the organization to participate as needed. To break through silos, communicate project goals and results clearly, and seek internal and external feedback from stakeholders.

Data and Digital Transformation

Irfan Khan: As customers embark upon their digital transformation journey, it’s important that they understand the full spectrum of data that they own today, and are likely to be consuming in the future. So the manner in which the digital transformation can take effect is, first and foremost, survey what you own, make sure that you actually have an understanding, a good data governance strategy in place, but then equally so, understand where the new trends in data are taking your business.

So what are the impediments in the place of the workforce right now, or for that matter, even in technology and infrastructure that get in the way? And I’d say that there’s probably two things, that I’d concentrate on: make sure that the skillset of the people is capable of taking you to the next level of growth. The second part is, make sure that the investment in infrastructure and foundations serves not just your businesses for the next twelve months, but for the next five years at a bare minimum, because it’s very disruptive to change your platform. And I firmly do believe that if you want to make sure that the path is clear for you in the future, make those investments up front now.

You’ve got to have a foundation in place that’s actually allowing you to consume all this data, process that data, being able to analyze it in a real, futuristic way. In other words, whatever the users want, they should be able to get without having to go through IT and having to go through multiple provisioning projects to be able to achieve that result for them.

both a significant undertaking from the executive board, but then also from each of the lines of business that have to participate and make sure that the milestones are met. So if you really set the cadence for the next 12-18 months as part of your project cycle, number one: overly communicate what your results are, the success that you’re achieving. Second part is to make sure that as the business users engage, that you get their feedback. Clearly, that is going to be a new horizon for them, a new disruptive horizon maybe, but at the same time a new transformative horizon. We should look to gaining an understanding of exactly what their feedback is. And then thirdly, it is important to benchmark the results. Of course we talk about a 10x or a 100x improvement, but if you have a single part of the process, or part of the data flow, which is forcing things to slow down, then that lowest common denominator in speed will be that part that’s slowing the system down. So make sure that everything is balanced. Understand the whole end-to-end capabilities, and I think that would serve you well for your digital transformation.