CDOs Want Increased Investments in Data Management, Cloud

Chief data officers who help drive organizational alignment on data management investments in support of business strategies must look beyond purely technical objectives.

Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer

April 7, 2023

4 Min Read
Symbols of data management overlaid on a computer in use.
Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

Chief data officers are looking to ramp up investment in cloud and data management technologies in 2023, with a particular focus on data governance.

According to the global Informatica survey of 600 CDOs and chief data & analytics officers, there is also a greater focus on coordinating business objectives with the appropriate data management investments.

Nearly seven in 10 (68%) of data executives surveyed predict increased data management investment in 2023, and the majority (52%) of respondents cited improved governance over their data and processes as a top data strategy priority for 2023.

Organizational investment in the cloud is being driven by several factors such as elastic scalability -- the ability to quickly scale up or down based on their needs, and agility and flexibility, for example using the capabilities they need based on their business needs.

Other advantages include cost-efficiency (consumption-based pricing, pay for what they use), and innovation (new features added to cloud services regularly). 

CDOs Hampered by Lack of Data Visibility

Jitesh Ghai, chief product officer for Informatica, explains the key challenges facing CDOs in 2023 include a lack of a complete view and understanding of their data estate, along with an increasing volume and variety of data sources -- 55% of respondents reported having more than 1,000 sources of data in their organization.

Additional challenges include the growing complexity of the technology landscape, an inability to scale data delivery to support the needs of a growing number of data consumers, and a failure to minimize risks related to industry regulations.

“The lack of support from business leaders and the resulting lack of alignment further compounds these challenges,” he adds.

Ghai says although organizations aspire to become more data-driven to achieve business outcomes including faster growth, improved customer experience, and operational efficiencies, increasing data fragmentation and complexity is a significant obstacle to achieving this in practice.

“To help address this challenge, CDOs prioritize investments in areas like improving data governance, enhancing data-driven culture and literacy, gaining more holistic views of customers, improving data privacy and security, and enabling data sharing and democratization,” he says.

From Ghai’s perspective, successful data leaders realize that prioritizing these data management investments is key to delivering on their data-driven business objectives.

Prioritizing Data Management Investment

Anant Adya, executive vice president and GTM head of Cobalt at IT consulting firm Infosys, points out with the adoption of new applications and channels, organizations are collecting a larger volume of data to implement analytics that identify opportunities and inform business initiatives.

“The challenge comes from managing the increased volume and variety of data, the need to integrate it into business intelligence, and most notably, the need to keep data infrastructure updated to ensure various data types are supported and organizations are following data compliance considerations,” he says.

He explains CDOs are seeking greater investments in data management because they need to identify how they can create a measurable impact for the customer experience.

“This can only be done by collecting and analyzing data, which can often be tedious and require large sums of time and resources,” Adya says. “Hence, many are doubling down on data management resources to get the job done quicker and easier.”

As the digital ecosystem evolves, enterprises are being forced to innovate and rely on cloud to accelerate digital transformation.

“Effectively leveraging data through the cloud gives organizations a competitive edge and increases resiliency by being able to respond to disruptions and spot new market opportunities through intelligent data,” he explains.

Pursuing a Multi-Pronged Strategy

Ghai advises CDOs to pursue a multi-pronged approach to ensure their investment needs align with the organization's overall business strategy.

“This requires an understanding of business strategy and priorities to ensure their data strategy aligns with said strategy,” he says. “They must also understand and prioritize the data capabilities required to support the data strategy.”

Data leaders must also collaborate with business leaders to identify specific business objectives to be accomplished and agree on key performance indicators and other metrics that will measure success for their data strategy priorities.

“CDOs should also develop a roadmap outlining the investments needed to execute their data strategy priorities aligned with business priorities and align organizational structures across their team and the larger organization to drive more effective execution,” Ghai explains.

Adya agrees that CDOs must ensure their investment needs are aligned with the organization’s overall business strategy by linking the project to organizational metrics and measuring outcomes on an ongoing basis.

“From here, they must test and validate data sets, automate to test at scale and ensure independent testing certification for high accuracy in decision making,” he says.

CDOs Need Close Partnership with C-Suite

Ghai adds CDOs need executive leadership support to ensure their data strategy aligns with the business strategy, which requires collaboration with line-of-business leaders.

“This will help drive alignment of their data strategy priorities with specific business objectives and deliver tangible business value,” he says.

He adds CDOs must also collaborate with IT to drive investments and ensure technology investments align with their data strategy priorities.

“Successful CDOs closely partner with C-suite executives, line-of-business leaders, and IT leaders to help prioritize the required investments and drive effective execution of their data strategy priorities,” Ghai says.

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About the Author(s)

Nathan Eddy

Freelance Writer

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin.

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