These Are the 3 Biggest Data Acquisition Challenges for the Digital Business
More than ever, businesses need to efficiently and effectively collect data to inform their strategy for navigating an ever-changing enterprise landscape. Data is increasingly a primary means for businesses to listen to and connect with their customers. It is the lifeblood of the digital business.
Companies today have access to an overabundance of data that could inform and accelerate their businesses. Companies aren’t lacking information. Instead, they lack the skilled staff, appropriate IT infrastructure and the financial prioritization needed to acquire the right data, draw meaningful insights, and ultimately put those insights to use.
Biggest Obstacles to Data Acquisition
More data is being captured than ever before, but businesses can’t just sit back and soak it up, hoping it will magically transform their operations. Data acquisition isn’t passive. Each enterprise must determine the best way to acquire the data it needs, efficiently analyze it for strategic insights and then put it to use in a way that drives meaningful results. According to the IDG 2018 State of Digital Business Transformation report, the top three obstacles to achieving success with digital business initiatives are:
- Lack of staff and/or correct skill sets
- A need to replace legacy systems
- Insufficient budget
As a digital business, you’ve likely faced these same obstacles. Let’s explore how you can meet and overcome them.
1. Filling a Skills Gap
Technology changes so rapidly it can be difficult to keep staff fully updated and trained. Finding professionals experienced with machine learning, AI, big data analytics, robotic process automation, and other emerging technologies presents an increasing challenge to nearly every business hoping to capitalize on their wealth of data. Without those skills, it is much more difficult to efficiently acquire, analyze and act on available data sources. One way to quickly meet this challenge is by outsourcing where possible to managed services providers that specialize in those skills and technologies while you evaluate your own in-house skill requirements. Outside services can be called in as needed and used to supplement your current team or execute on initiatives that demand specialized knowledge. Managed services providers can also fill in skill-set gaps temporarily while simultaneously transferring skills to your current team, who are then better prepared to execute initiatives on their own.
2. Ensuring Adaptive Infrastructure
In addition to staffing an appropriately skilled workforce, many enterprises face the challenge of managing older IT infrastructure that needs to be replaced or updated. In making those updates, one of the most important considerations is replacing fixed and inflexible legacy network systems with an adaptive network infrastructure. An adaptive network provides flexible, high-bandwidth connectivity designed to intelligently adjust to real-time data capacity needs, offering infrastructure elasticity, enhancing application performance and greatly empowering your data acquisition strategy. With more efficient acquisition and management of critical application data, businesses can identify market trends faster and develop business solutions more quickly to address them.
3. Financing the Digital Business
Finally, insufficient budget was listed as a top obstacle to digital business success. However, addressing the other two challenges—lack of skills and legacy systems—often provides relief from the stress of a tight budget. Using managed services allows for the outsourcing of specific tasks without the need to hire or train full-time staff. Managed services providers also bring experience to the table that often can’t be matched by internal teams. They use that experience to execute your business initiatives faster, removing the burden from your IT team, which can instead focus on growing your business.
Legacy network systems were built for another time. They rarely allow for the speed or scalability required by today’s digital businesses. Moving away from time-intensive data center maintenance to a self-service, flexible adaptive network infrastructure can help you get to market much faster and eliminate many of the capital costs, licensing and management fees associated with on-site services. Adaptive networks also allow for seamless real-time scaling, so that your business can quickly take advantage of market growth opportunities without overburdening older infrastructure, further accelerating new revenue possibilities that can offset the infrastructure investment.
Overcoming Data Acquisition Challenges
Thriving in today’s ever-evolving business landscape requires becoming adept at data acquisition. While the obstacles to efficiently acquiring data may often feel insurmountable, there are steps you can take right now to move beyond them and ultimately accelerate the growth of your business.
Have you faced these data acquisition challenges in your organization? Check out our eBook to better understand your digital journey.
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