C-suite

Unlocking insights in data to fuel digital reinvention

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Author: Doug Robinson, Managing Partner, Global Business Services, IBM Australia & New Zealand

On 12 November, at the IBM Cloud Innovation Exchange, Shelley Kalms, Chief Digital Officer, at Australia’s Woodside Energy, joined me to explore the 20th edition of the IBM Global C-suite Study:  Build your trust advantage: Leadership in the era of data and AI everywhere. The study includes 13,484 respondents across 6 C-suite roles, 20 industries, and 98 countries, including 430 executives across Australia and New Zealand. Outlined below are some of my highlights.

Cognitive Enterprise: a new area of business reinvention

As the convergence of technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, Internet of Things, blockchain, and 5G become pervasive, their combined impact will reshape standard business architectures. We call this next-generation business model, the Cognitive Enterprise. By combining proprietary data, unique tech platforms and specialist expertise, companies can continually reinvent themselves to create a competitive advantage.

An example in our own backyard is Woodside Energy, who is a pioneer in the liquefied natural gas industry and has made data-for-everyone their mission. The company has created a “citizen science platform” that anyone, even those who can’t code, can use for oil and gas exploration. Employees can use drag-and-drop algorithms and other visualisation options to discover new patterns when looking at data.

“We want all our great minds tapping into data because each one will look at things differently,” says Woodside Chief Digital Officer, Shelley Kalms. “We’re aiming for a ‘learn-it’ mindset, rather than a ‘know-it-all’ mindset. We’re trying to unlock the collective intelligence of our organisation by bringing the data, information, and insights together to improve our operations and the working lives of our people.”

Next on the agenda? Woodside and IBM recently announced that they will be working together to re-imagine the way work is done using next-generation technologies, such as AI and quantum computing, to help build an “intelligent plant”.

Data matters. But trust determines its value

Today customers are demanding transparency when it comes to their data and its association with products and services and, in the case of personal data, assurances that it’s used in a fair manner and kept safe. C-suite executives are concerned that if something doesn’t change, “Personal data use will be challenged,” says Mark Lollback, GroupM Australia & New Zealand CEO. “Consumers know their data is being used, but they don’t always know how, where, and what for. There is an increasing caution among consumers about what they share and how it is tracked. If businesses can’t demonstrate the value people get in return, people will say, ‘I want my privacy back.’”

To satisfy the requirement for trust, leading organisations are adopting three basic principles as their guide:

  • Transparency
  • Reciprocity
  • Accountability

But how can you win and gain a competitive advantage in a trust economy? The C-suite Study includes an action guide you can use to plan and implement your own strategy.

What I’ve shared with you here is based on just some of the conversations and insights from the 13,000+ C-suite executives we spoke to. To discover more about data, the value you can derive from it, and what it takes to lead in a world awash with data, download the 20th Edition IBM Global C-suite Study today.

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