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April 17, 2015

Business leaders on digital – ‘drowning in data’

Over half admit they are drowning and just one in ten can effectively use the data they have

By Alexander Sword

Business leaders are aware of the fundamental changes in business being forced by digital technologies but are not ready to act on it.

Research found 96 percent of business leaders believed that new technology had permanently changed the rules of business but just 12 percent can predictively spot new opportunities,

Just 9 percent said they could innovate in an agile way, 12 percent operated in real time and 11 percent said they deliver personalised experiences. This was despite 60 percent, 56 percent and 55 percent respectively viewing these as the most important areas.

While70 percent say they can gain insights from data, 30 percent are unable to act upon information in real time and 52 percent admit they do not use their data effectively or are drowning in information overload.

Digital impact includes democratising information and rewiring customer expectations due to technologies such as cloud computing, mobile devices, data analytics and social media.

"The Information Generation is demanding more from the organisations they interact with," said David Goulden, CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure. "Businesses ‘born of the cloud‘ are driving this shift in expectations, and mature businesses must redefine themselves to adapt and remain relevant."

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Rachel Maguire, Research Director at Institute for the Future, said: "It’s critical that we systematically explore the longer-term implications of an age in which information is at the centre of everything we do, continually re-conditioning us in ways we still have yet to imagine. The world’s most information-savvy organisations – if they ready themselves – will lead one of the most significant transformations in history."

The research, conducted by Institute for the Future and Vanson Bourne on behalf of EMC, surveyed 3,600 business leaders across 18 countries from mid-size to large enterprises in nine industries.

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