Achieving data value is arguably the greatest challenge and opportunity organisations face today. It’s time to break boundaries and optimise the full potential of the digital transformation advances experienced in the last two years. These have enabled the delivery of holistic benefits that go beyond performance, growth, agility and innovation, to include sustainability, wellbeing, security and inclusion wherever you may be working. This is the very epitome of actualising shared value business.

man in focus, discussion

And becoming data-driven lies at the heart of enabling this trajectory, and should be achievable irrespective of whether that data is stored in a data centre, private cloud, colocation facility, or at the edge. So, with data the core catalyst for change, why are many organisations, from SMB to enterprises alike, finding the road to becoming data-driven a challenging one, and, critically, how can we overcome this?

Recent research conducted for Dell Technologies by Forrester drew attention to this conundrum. Although businesses largely believe they are data-driven, in actuality many are not treating data as capital and do not prioritise its use. Similarly, businesses are gathering data faster than they can handle, analyse and use, yet they are constantly needing more data than their current capabilities can provide.

Furthermore, although many businesses believe in ‘as a service’ benefits, only a few have made the full transition to this model. And the impact continues – with these data management issues, in turn, slowing down efforts to unlock new value from emerging data and its mining through AI.

So how do we best bridge this intention, perception and action gap? In today’s new era of technology convergence and ecosystem partnership, and with the need for active, agile real-time intelligence centre stage, the power of the cloud, especially multi-cloud, becomes critical.

This allows IT teams to build and maintain robust yet flexible data management foundations, putting application development and workloads where each will work best. Indeed, research consistently reflects 89% of enterprises and above are now employing a multi-cloud strategy, but also shows that its full potential is not being optimised with challenges ranging from integration complexity to skills gaps and, critically, cost. Analysis shows 60% of CIO’s report that optimising their cloud spend is now a leading priority, with a typical wasted cloud spend of some 32%.

But it does not need to be this way. Understanding current cloud and broader computing trends can help guide an organisation’s digital business decision-making process, vendor and technology selection, cost forecasting and investment strategies to support upcoming stages of a cloud journey.

As an example, a subscription-based pricing model can support FinOps and help organisations improve their cloud cost predictability and cloud resource usage visibility. This unlocks consumption efficiency benefits too, thereby helping to embed Environmental Social Governance (ESG) considerations by design alongside cost-shared value personified!

Additionally, avoiding single points of failure and standardising on a consistent, familiar toolset – backed with personalised cloud skills training that is accessible beyond technology facing roles – can make a huge difference. As the Breakthrough study by Dell Technologies reveals, understanding human behaviours and learning preferences is a critical component in actualising the full capacity of technology change.

Breaking through barriers to digital transformation lies at the intersection of people and technology. Now is the time for enterprises to solve the data conundrum using the cloud with support available to guide your journey, whatever your starting point and critically for organisations of any size – and with technology that grows as you do.

About the Author

Dr. Sally Eaves is a highly experienced Chief Technology Officer by background, Professor in Advanced Technologies, and a Global Strategic Advisor on Digital Transformation specializing in the application of emergent technologies, notably AI, Cloud, 5G, Security and IoT disciplines, for Business and IT transformation, alongside Social Sustainable Impact at scale.

An international Keynote Speaker and Author, Sally was an inaugural recipient of the Frontier Technology and Social Impact award, presented at the United Nations, and has been described as the “torchbearer for ethical tech”, founding Aspirational Futures to enhance inclusion, diversity, and belonging in the technology space and beyond. Sally is also the chair for Global Cyber Trust at the leading think tank GFCYBER.

Find out how Dell Technologies and VMware combine the agility of the public cloud with the security of on-premises to deliver hybrid cloud platforms.