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A manufacturer improves the ability to match output with demand that enables earlier logistics planning and rising profitability. A natural gas company’s engineers get a clearer picture of its pipeline operations to greatly enhance decision-making capabilities. And with a more holistic view of its customers, a bank’s executives are able to offer products that appeal to customers based on their needs and preferences.
These companies have something important in common: their business and IT leaders understand that to win in the digital economy, business insights on demand are key. They can anticipate market shifts and move quickly to command a competitive advantage by deploying data and analytics to rapidly learn about their customers.
Not all organizations are ready for the challenge.
While 92 percent of organizations recognize they must exploit insights quickly to compete, only 14 percent rate themselves extremely good at doing so, according to the Harvard Business Review (HBR) report From Data to Disruption: Innovation Through Digital Intelligence (December 2016). This disparity represents a significant gap between what line-of-business leaders think they need to compete using insights, and what they are capable of doing to achieve that level of competitiveness. To close this gap, many companies are focusing on improving their IT infrastructure. Harnessing millions of gigabytes of data and adding value in the era of cognitive analytics requires meeting new IT infrastructure demands for access, speed and availability:
- Access: Shared and secure access to all relevant information using IT infrastructure is needed–no matter what the data is or where it resides—to enable new levels of visibility into customers and operations.
- Speed: Data can lose value as it ages, because business leaders with early insights who make the first move gain the most advantage. Nine out of 10 organizations require extremely fast data and analyics to compete, according to the same HBR report.
- Availability: Technical experts need to consistently deliver insights to the people and processes that require them.
Today, business leaders have the opportunity to access both the data they own and the data that is publicly available, whether that data resides in the cloud, on premises or in a hybrid environment. They need to pull together the rich content spread across various sources and silos. A cognitive platform can make rapid searches and finding relevant content possible in an expedient fashion across data types. Key features for improving access also include efficient resource management and optimized data storage with technologies such as data tiering.
Bringing analytics to the data
Speed is at a premium. To accelerate insights in real time, organizations can embed intelligence into processes using integrated, high-performance IT infrastructure.
For example, bringing analytics to the data residing in a transactional system—rather than sending the data elsewhere in the enterprise for analysis—leverages the security intelligence embedded in the transactional system while accelerating time to results. This approach also helps ensure that the company’s latest data—real-time information about transactions—is used for decision-making and optimizing the customer experience.
Maximizing right-time availability of information and insights empowers employees to improve collaboration, solve problems and grow opportunities. Scalable, low-latency systems with self-healing attributes, together with enterprise-grade systems software that provides continuous management, help ensure maximum uptime and availability.
Organizations need a partner who can help rapidly create value from data. IBM is leading the way with cognitive technology, parallel processing and low-latency resources such as flash technology. Specialty workload engines and optimized systems that bring analytics accelerators closer to systems of record deliver rapid insights. And IBM servers based on open innovation give organizations the opportunity to apply analytics across the enterprise.
Meeting expanded customer expectations
The age of insight is driven by a world of immediate responsiveness, where consumers have high expectations and nimble competitors are ready to meet their demands.
CIOs and CTOs are looking at data and its analysis as major areas of investment to gain greater levels of insight and understanding than ever. This knowledge enables them to continuously make the right choices about how to design businesses, supply chains and customer experiences.
IBM’s servers and storage are designed to help them—and you—close the data and analytics gap. Are you ready?