Having an enterprise data management strategy is vital for digital transformation, according to the panellists at the CIO Summit Singapore 2016.
"[This is because] you need to first have visibility [on your organisation and to the information you have because] without it, you don't know where to start [transforming]. Next, take action based on the insights generated from your data. [Thereafter, you need to put] policies in place to take control," said Andy Ng, Vice President at Veritas Technologies.
Even though most organisations have a data management strategy, such strategies are often fragmented and not well-communicated within the organisation itself, said Raymond Goh, Senior Director, Head of Solution Architects, Veritas Technologies. "Having the right kind of enterprise data management strategy is important so lots of transformation is required from leaders and executives within the organisation [in this aspect]," he added.
However, there are exemplary organisations, like medical and travel security services firm International SOS. "Given the size of our organisation and our visionary leader, we have an information architecture in place. While IT coordinates and facilitates it, the ownership lies with distributed owners around the business - be it owners of data entities or business owners," said Richard Davies, Group CIO at International SOS.
Compliance gradually taking the spotlight?
Compliance is becoming increasingly important as organisations move into the digital age. "Five years ago, most projects were about reducing costs. While reducing costs is still important, major drivers of projects today are value discovery and compliance," said Ng.
He added: "[Being compliant used to be a major issue only with] governments and financial services institutions, but over the last 9 to 12 months, we've seen that the retail and manufacturing sectors are [increasingly] recognising the need for compliance," said Ng.
For instance, Davies said that his organisation needs to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and HIPAA Protected Health Information (PHI). Besides that, they need to adhere to the different legislations - related to collecting, managing and storing data - in various countries.
There might still be a long way before organisations in Singapore - excluding those in highly regulated industries - see compliance as a top priority though. Only 7 percent of the 112 delegates at the CIO Summit Singapore 2016 said that security and compliance were the top drivers for adopting new technologies in their organisations.
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