It is no longer new or fashionable and, being honest, it’s never been cool, but understanding how and where the data assets in the organisation live and work has become a necessary part of the business and board management. The ability to use these assets has quickly becoming a major strategy differentiator and a key success factor for firms. The pandemic situation has accelerated the necessity for all organisations to transform digitally and reinvent their business models. This increasingly requires companies to develop a solid and sustainable data strategy to able them to foresee the impacts of the change and the consequences to the bottom line.
From a data governance perspective, buy-in and board level interest had been driven by compliance requirements and the need to mitigate risk, and so at the C-level, with no immediate regulatory driver, is not currently forcing data governance onto the board agenda. This is a pity as it is now a business imperative to have a deep understanding of your data assets and technical capability, or perhaps to know where your towel is, given the extremely unpredictable economic and political environment. The change from office to connected working has only just started. Within recent weeks there have been moves to require employers and the civil service to allow for hub working, beyond the control of the corporate IT function. So far, most organisations are viewing pandemic home working as ad-hoc and temporary, and servicing the requirement for employees to home work on a string and coat hanger mechanism and an all bets off indemnity. This will have to change with almost immediate effect.
For those organisations that have mapped their data, understand their environment and are working toward a series of thought-out strategic data goals, it will be comparatively simple to pivot to confront the new challenges. Here at Castlebridge, or in the new reality, across the island and beyond, we have always recognised the benefits of remote working in helping the important balance between work and life and have been able to almost seamlessly transition to productivity in lockdown. Telegram has replaced the water cooler and Teams the round table in my office. Onwards and upwards. But it is not the same for all firms. Those without a data strategy but a strong compliance focus have found themselves hamstrung and unable to make the necessary changes with the required agility. There are still firms, 11 months on, who are unable to fully service clients, unable to react to the changing circumstances and awaiting the return to the ‘normal’ of 2019. That won’t happen, and those that fail to change die.
So, organisations that view their data assets strategically and have evolved a proactive data governance function to control the ship in increasingly choppy waters are more successful, proving that if you do actually know where your towel is at, in terms of data governance, you are in danger of becoming cool!
How can Castlebridge help?
We can help your organisation embrace the ‘post-covid’ opportunities of 2021 through a range of services and supports. From helping you frame your data strategy, tackle your data literacy through training and coaching, or resource up your data protection function, to helping you identify the key critical to quality data in your organisation, we can get you on target in 2021.