IDC: More Alt Data, Fewer CDOs


Industry analyst firm IDC expects sources of alternative data to bloom in the next two years as 80% of enterprises will seek to monetize their data by 2020.

Shawn Fitzgerald, IDC

“This is an extension of our current research findings,” said Shawn Fitzgerald, research director, digital transformation strategies at IDC, duringa recent webinar.

Much of the data came from the IDC’s leadership survey, which the firm conducted during the first half of the hear and which 1,987 enterprises participated globally.

Developing this new product and revenue stream requires firms to implement digital transformations platforms and reference architecture.

“At the center of this is the concept of an ‘intelligent core’ which is about taking data, creating information, and resulting in insights that you can use to drive processes, business models, and revenue streams,” said Fitzgerald.

How large a revenue stream it will be for the enterprises generating the data is up in that air as the analyst firm estimates that 90% of information generated is never utilized.

Firms also will need to become “digitally determined” and need to transform their markets and re-imagine their future through new business models and digitally enabled products and services.

Fitzgerald defines digitally determined as “having a single business strategy built around digital transformation where the digital transformation strategy parallels the business strategy or is the business strategy.”

On the flip side of the coin, there are the firms that are “digitally distressed.” which approach digital transformation in an ad hoc manner that leads to ‘pilot purgatory,’ where firms never realize their scale capabilities since their efforts are not tied to the enterprise goals, Fitzgerald added.

Firms may be minting new chief digital officers to roll out their digital transformation, IDC predicts that the position is transitory and their organizations embedded their responsibilities within the organization eventually.

“This minimizes the need for a corporate digital czar,” said fellow presenter Robert Parker, group vice president at IDC. “However, before an organization makes that progression, it is critical for the CDO to take stock of all of the activities going on across the organization and to leave an integrated strategy.”

It’s not all bad news for CDOs, he noted, “Participating in digital initiatives is a pathway to the corner office as digital transformation is a business strategy and not a technology strategy. Future CEOs will need to have a high level of digital competency. It’s an executive proving ground according to what we see in the research even if the title is not long-term in the grand scheme of things.”

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