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Analytics: The upside of disruption

In response to marketplace disruptions, organizations are ramping up their adoption of big data and analytics technologies to innovate their business models

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In our seventh annual analytics study, 1,226 respondents worldwide report dramatically higher use of big data and analytics technologies in the past year. More than before, organizations see the upside of acting quickly to innovate their business models and analytics strategies, as well as improve the information infrastructure to support a future view.

The upsurge of interest in analytics was spurred by powerful disruptions within the global marketplace. Long-standing business practices and interactions—particularly between the business and IT functions—have fundamentally changed. We identified three of the most rampant disruptions, which we think are directly related to the upsurge of interest in analytics:

  1. Accelerated digitization: A digitized ecosystem is crucial for business success, and it requires ever-expanding information access.
  2. Radical technology changes: The upsurge of big data and analytics technologies has vastly improved how data yields information.
  3. Knowledge can replace speculation: Organizations that deploy the right skills can leverage analytics and make the transformative shift to know instead of merely to speculate.

When disruptions aren’t disadvantages

In this, our seventh annual IBM Institute for Business Value global analytics study, we find that a majority of organizations are embracing these marketplace disruptions as opportunities, intensifying their adoption of big data and analytics technologies. According to 95 percent of the 1,226 respondents surveyed, big data and analytics capabilities are now necessary to stay on par with competitors or required to outpace them.

Three-quarters of survey respondents report that their organizations are building out an optimized data and analytics infrastructure capable of responding to in-the-moment business needs. More than two-thirds have expanded their use of advanced analytics across their enterprise to more precisely understand current business conditions and customer behaviors.

Today’s successes require external data inputs collected by only a third of organizations—to create clarity and detect new demand signals. These signals—which are rapidly becoming key pieces of information to bring context to any decision—can fuel decision making from strategic planning to operational optimization. Speed and agility need to be embedded into optimized business processes to take advantage of these signals and win in the marketplace.

The rise of ecosystems

But hurdles threaten success in the wake of the global digital revolution. Organizations will require new expertise: from how to operate differently to how to manage the infrastructure and analyze the data. Fortunately, a new business model based on ecosystems is emerging to alleviate some of the burden, but with it comes the requirement to keep up. Organizations that fail to meet the demands of the digitized marketplace will soon find themselves alone and adrift in an unrecognizable landscape.

In our report, we explore how some organizations are already responding to these disruptions. We also offer recommended actions for those who need to catch up. A certain amount of inertia was acceptable during the uncertainties and years—long technology projects of the past. Today, however, organizations no longer have that luxury. It’s time to put data into action.

Read the report to see how you can reap the rewards of disruption.


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Meet the authors

Steven Davidson

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, VP and Partner, Senior Client Adviser Digital Reinvention

Glenn Finch

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, Global Leader for Big Data and Analytics, IBM Global Business Services

Rebecca Shock