Data provides CIO with digital transformation insight

Digital modernisation programmes led by data aware executives are vital to success.


Organisations with a strong culture and architecture towards data will be the ones that are successful at digital transformation, business and technology leaders reveal. The term digital transformation leads many to consider it a technology-led change to organisations, but in truth, data is the key component to the two most vital aspects of an organisation: optimising business operations and improving customer services. 

Customer data

As well as creating masses of data, customers are making data-driven demands. Andy Ashwell, Group Information Officer at international shipping services firm Inchcape has modernised the data landscape of his business to provide their customers with data-driven services, that will reduce shipping delays and improve cost optimisation. “For our global customers, we are seeing that they are far more data-driven. Measurements of the turn-arounds and port costs is a high priority,” he says. These business-to-business customers expect Inchcape to deliver that data in real-time and directly into their own technology platforms, or to be available to view via online services. 

“Today, in an era of data-driven insight, our role is far more disruptive,” Phil Jordan, Group CIO of UK retailer J Sainbury’s says of how data is the method for business disruption. In its annual CIO Survey, search firm Harvey Nash concurs with Jordan, stating that data is now widely seen as a ‘critical asset’ by digitally focused organisations, and that democratising access to data, based on roles, is vital alongside, “engineering data marketplaces and leveraging APIs” as Ashwell as Inchcape has done. 

The CIO survey adds that organisations will be able to benefit from next-generation data technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). “At RSA we have increased our focus on digital to improve the customer experience, and the use of AI to improve financial crime and we are developing the data and analytics environment to identify emerging patterns,” says David Germain, Group CIO for insurance firm RSA. “Our data scientists can provide the insight to ensure we react to consumers' needs.”

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