Fujitsu: Becoming Data-Driven is an Intrinsic Component of Commercial Success

Karl-Jorit Hausdorf, Head of AI Business Incubator at FUJITSU European Platform Business, discusses what it means for a business to be considered truly ‘data-driven’ and the benefits that achieving such status can have.

Technological advances over the last few years have meant that data is now more tangible than ever before. Businesses now have the ability to turn data into meaningful insights which can help inform commercial and strategic decisions.

A report published by Fujitsu, in collaboration with Freeform Dynamics, found that only 4.8% of businesses are actually ‘data-driven’.

But what does it mean to be data-driven?

By definition, a data-driven business is one that is able to exploit data at every level to achieve both strategic and operational advantages. This often involves utilising advanced tools and technology to make data and analytics an intrinsic part of boardroom decisions.

What we found was that those organisations who were further along in their data maturity journey tended to perform stronger than those companies who, perhaps, were not fully realising the potential that data could have on their business.

Of note is that these organisations also had a strong grasp in areas such as data management, culture and mindset, systems and infrastructure as well as overall user experience.

It might sound surprising that such a small percentage of businesses have achieved that ‘data-driven status’. But there were a number of factors that prevented them from being considered data-driven – Lack of support from the senior management team, cultural resistance to change, reliance on legacy IT and poor KPI alignment to name a few.

However, companies that are just beginning their data-driven transformation often require a number of years to substantially improve their maturity; whether that be down to advances in technology or even the time taken to act upon the decisions made.

It is perhaps a reminder that the mainstream tends to move much more slowly than technology industry narratives often suggest. To become genuinely data-driven, it’s necessary to implement a range of technologies and techniques that, by today’s standards, are very advanced, and this is true regardless of location, size and sector.

Does being data-driven actually matter?

From the perspective of someone in a decision-making position, the benefits of being able to access relevant, up-to-date and contextual data are incredible.

Having that data-driven mindset will allow any company to use the information at their disposal to make much more informed, intelligent business decisions, therefore increasing their agility to adapt to ever-changing market conditions.

At a time when companies are becoming much more conscious of their environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments, becoming more data-driven can also have a benefit here.
We will be the first to admit that data centres have been a major contributor to increasing CO2 emissions and the rising levels of energy consumption. We need to act now and clean-up our data to help minimise this environmental impact.

At Fujitsu, we are working hard to achieve this by working with World CleanUp NGO, the world’s largest bottom-up citizen movement, to bring about change.

Becoming more data-driven can also allow businesses to be ready for what’s coming. During our research, it has become apparent that Generative AI (GenAI) is going to become hugely influential on how we conduct business and streamline operations in the future.

Public Large Language Model (LLM) AIs – such as ChatGPT, Bing, Claude and Bard – are becoming much more commonplace. But using such public cloud platforms bring with them a unique set of risks, especially when it comes to analysing data insights.

Inputting the ‘wrong data’ into these systems may have a negative impact on your ability to process information and make meaningful decisions as a result. In order to use GenAI to its full potential, companies must not only input the ‘right data’, but fully understand what that data actually means.

It is equally as important to consider data sovereignty and private GPT platforms for business-critical data, such as your own IP. You must not risk losing control over information and knowledge that differentiates your company from others. We are offering customers and partners to test drive a Private GPT instance here: AI Test Drive : Fujitsu EMEIA

Becoming a data-driven business doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Taking steps to better manage and exploit data within your business is likely to yield worthwhile result, regardless of your starting point.

Businesses should firstly identify the different use cases in which they want to become more data-rich. From there, you can then start to build your business cases.

Technology can also be important here, especially when it comes to introducing more modern systems and solutions, providing data pipelines and even deploying apps much more quickly.

It’s important to note that up to 50% of “the problem” with becoming data-driven is due to organisational issues, which often require a culture transformation. But if you can balance those technical requirements with a change in culture, you’re well on your way to becoming data-driven.

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