Data Strategy – A Neglected Opportunity Or A Necessity!?
<p style="text-align: justify;">Digital Twin, Internet of Things/Services, Cyber-Physical Systems, … – the number of buzz words in the context of Industry 4.0 is less and less countable. The same applies for the roles and responsibilities in organizations (companies, corporations, public authorities, etc.): CIO, CTO, CISO, CDiO, etc. reflecting the necessary changes of roles and responsibilities in terms of Information, Technology, Security, and Digitalization. All these functions and roles are heavily depending on data first. </p><p style="text-align: justify;">Looking back into the historical phases and waves of industrialisation, we can identify a common pattern and main driver: <span style="text-decoration: underline;">the rationalisation of resources.</span> Industry 1.0 was about the rationalisation of labour and materials; 2.0 was about electrification & mass production; 3.0 was about computerisation automation of signals (microelectronics); and 4.0 is about the rationalisation of <span style="text-decoration: underline;">data,</span> i.e., information and its <span style="text-decoration: underline;">monetization.</span> In other words: data, i.e., information understood and utilised as a ‘currency’ (some people use the metaphor ‘oil’ in this context).</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The digitalization of an entire business or parts of it – the number of those is growing fast – depends obviously on a strong data strategy in terms of business and use case(s), governance, organization, architecture, processes, quality, privacy, security, integration and interoperability, management, operations, and support. The big challenge we can see is, that in a lot of organizations the business strategy is driving e.g., the technology strategy, but hardly or at all their data strategy; and it is not a surprise to see that most of those organization hardly or at all have a Chief Data Officer (CDaO) in place in terms of purpose, scope, and definition given earlier in this article. If a CDaO and their team are in place, they are mainly looking at data from a privacy and protection (e.g., GDPR compliance in the EU) point of view, which is certainly critical legally, but not integral and comprehensive enough when it is about the digitalization of processes, products, and services of your business. </p>