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Uncover Gold During an Economic Crisis: Five Steps to Monetizing Your Data

Chris Jangareddy

January 15, 2021

Because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, almost every industry is experiencing volatility, risks and changes to buying behavior. Nevertheless, in crisis often comes opportunity and a forcing factor for businesses to redefine themselves. Those looking to innovate after (or even during) this crisis should focus on two key concepts — data monetization and data modernization.

We all know the stories of businesses having achieved significant success monetizing data — Netflix and Airbnb, for example — but most organizations are struggling to get started.

At the onset, it is important to understand that you must think beyond your traditional data method and platform. Data monetization requires flexible, adaptable data management approaches that support innovation and the development of new business models and revenue streams. The opportunity is in reimagining your business to discover sources of revenue previously obscured by data silos and disconnected processes.

But often, businesses are saddled with legacy approaches and systems that collect, store and analyze data as they were designed to, but whose outdated designs are unable to deal with the sheer volume of data flowing through the business today. They need data analytics that deliver fast, meaningful insights, but their legacy systems can’t meet that demand.

Does this sound like you? You are not alone! In fact, in a recent survey of North American organizations, more than 50% of respondents said it took more than three days to generate analytics insights, and 30% said it took more than a week.

This issue is compounded as the volume and variety of data continue to increase. Organizations need to start preparing for data modernization now or risk falling even further behind.

Here are five strategic steps you can take that will help you modernize your data ecosystem to gain the greatest value from your data.

1. Adopt an agile mindset that seeks out digital innovation.

Modernization and monetization are two sides of the same coin, with enterprise modernization primarily led by IT and monetization driven by business decision-makers. Both sides must embrace agile development and a more collaborative environment to advance beyond the status quo. The key to doing so is to adopt intelligent data operations — DataOps — to align people, processes and technology for a more agile and automated approach to data management.

Start viewing technology as an enabler. With this mindset, you’ll stop investing in technology as technology, and start investing in technology to solve your business problems.

2. Use technology that supports an agile business model.

Modernization requires a shift in technology, architecture and design. For the greatest agility, choose a multicloud environment and invest in cloud-agnostic solutions and technologies. This will enable you to run open-source and third-party technologies in different clouds and seamlessly shift your workloads from one cloud to another, freeing you from being locked in with one technology or vendor.

Your data modernization infrastructure should encompass your entire organization, forming a data fabric or data ecosystem. Only in hyperconnected environments can artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and other analytics tools be effectively deployed at scale. An ecosystem integrates distributed data so that you can extract analysis and insight quickly, producing a faster return on investment.

3. Start with specific use cases and expand outward to establish the big picture.

Choose five to 10 use cases that have the highest potential to generate significant new revenue streams so that you see an early return on your modernization investment. Then work your way backward to the data, technology and source systems you need to organize the data and enable the new model. Build each use case as a repeatable solution to reduce time to market for future initiatives and drive efficiencies in cost and operations.

This is where the guidance of an experienced advisor such as Hitachi Vantara can be of great value. We can help you identify, assess and prioritize the best initial use cases for your business and industry. We have developed more than 700 predefined use cases across markets and industries and have implemented them successfully at myriad companies.

4. Build in data governance.

A modern data ecosystem can automate data quality and data lineage, ensure adherence to regulations and detect abnormalities that may indicate fraud. Today’s multicloud infrastructures are certified and often equally or even more secure than on-premises infrastructures and can meet even the most stringent security requirements.

DataOps plays a critical role in data governance because it brings all of your data together into a single, interconnected data fabric that has metadata data cataloging, data security, life cycle management capabilities and more. At Hitachi, we use our internal ecosystem and partner with third parties to put together an end-to-end, repeatable data governance solution. We build ML and deep learning models in our AI labs to address specific business problems. The automation built into Hitachi’s Lumada DataOps Suite, for example, helps secure sensitive data for governance and compliance across your data fabric, and the suite’s enterprise analytics enable you to report sensitive data quickly, accurately and safely.

5. Make change management a way of life.

Change management is the heart of digital transformation. You’ll need new methodologies to support an agile way of working. You’ll need to prepare your company’s talent for change. Your organizational structure will change as boundaries between business units blur. A strong change management program is critical to your modernization and monetization efforts — and your long-term success.

Become the Prospector

Hitachi’s cloud-agnostic, open-source data modernization offerings can help you build a modern data ecosystem that can bring your data monetization goals to fruition. The Lumada DataOps Suite from Hitachi meets the challenges of today’s data environments by bringing together powerful capabilities in one open, modular suite for operational agility, governance and analytics. To learn more, see “Why We Built the Lumada DataOps Suite.”

Hitachi works for the betterment of all by helping organizations improve and grow so that they can be healthy and committed contributors to society. We call this “Powering Good.” We offer solutions steeped in our proficiency with software, hardware and advisory services, and with deep industry knowledge including healthcare, life sciences, rail, manufacturing, energy and smart cities. Our technology expertise and broad experience across industries and around the world can bring valuable insight into your data modernization strategy and accelerate your digital innovation and data monetization.

For steps to start mining your data gold and for more information about bringing the advantages of data modernization to your business, see the e-book, “Your Guide to Building a Digital Advantage in Industry.”