During Commvault GO 2017 we announced the international survey, “Measuring IT’s Readiness for Digital Business,” which uncovered an alarming gap between the expectations of management to transform their businesses to a digital business and the readiness of IT organizations to support digital transformation. We had a premise: while we are all talking about ‘digital transformation,’ the people responsible for their company’s infrastructure, applications, and most important, DATA, the IT team would have to completely change the way they do their job to be able to support the business objectives.
Adapt or die
When talking about the results of this survey and the gap we found between management’s desire to move to a digital-first business and IT’s ability to drive the change needed to support that by giving their business access to data, one colleague balked that IT normally lags every time there’s a new technology. We need to challenge that. This study is not about IT’s ability to adopt a new technology; it’s about IT’s ability to support a complete change in the way companies need to operate to literally stay alive. Think about that. Not since the 1970s – when we saw the shift from local mom and pop shops as part of our daily lives to the large chains – has our world and the way we do business changed so radically.
Let us get extremely specific here for a moment. Every four weeks, Amazon can deliver toilet paper to your front door. This means you’re not in a store considering changing brands based on price, marketing nor product placement. You don’t think about it at all; it just shows up. Your brand loyalty is locked in until you actively do something to change that order, which is highly unlikely because you don’t think about it. At all. This is just one (very trivial) way the world has shifted due to digital business. We all know that there are much bigger and much more significant ways digital business has changed our lives. And most of us expect to deal with companies digitally first almost always.
Data at the center of digital business
So with data at the center of digital business, IT needs to be prepared to make that data available real time, all of the time. What they told us was eye opening:
- The Importance of Data: More than 50 percent of respondents rank “better data collection and management” and “new tools to analyze increasingly sophisticated data” as more important to future success than better customer service, corporate reputation and high earnings.
- Lack of Access to Data: 60 percent of respondents, including IT executives and IT personnel, think they have access to less than half of their organization’s data.
- Perception Gap: While 41 percent of executives believe their organizations understand and are prepared for innovation (already a surprisingly low number) only 29 percent of IT personnel believe the same. Further, more than a third of IT personnel think executives would feel concerned, anxious or panicked if they knew more about their IT department, while another 16 percent said they’d be unhappy, angry or disgusted.
- Lack of Bandwidth: Most IT executives prioritize day-to-day operations over innovation – and IT personnel follow their leads.
- Lack of Skillsets: More than 50 percent of IT personnel believe their roles will change radically and they will need to acquire new skills to stay relevant.
- Lack of Technology: More than two-thirds of respondents believe their organizations are not prepared for migrating data to the cloud, protecting that data, or bringing together all data in the company.
- Lack of Commitment to Putting Vision into Practice: More than 40 percent of companies don’t yet have a formal, proactive plan for digital transformation.
Reality is, IT is simply not ready
We recently presented these results to 18 IT leaders at Commvault GO. They shared similar frustrations like, “We are so resource constrained, we don’t have time to do the big stuff.”
Another responded, “We had to make the tough decision to focus on automating, simplifying and sometimes completely eliminating some of the things we were responsible for in order to be able to focus our efforts on managing our data to support digital transformation.”
Those changes are a reality for our customers and that’s where we can help. They need to be data experts and that’s what we do. We can help them become experts with their data.