Editorial & Advertiser Disclosure Global Banking And Finance Review is an independent publisher which offers News, information, Analysis, Opinion, Press Releases, Reviews, Research reports covering various economies, industries, products, services and companies. The content available on globalbankingandfinance.com is sourced by a mixture of different methods which is not limited to content produced and supplied by various staff writers, journalists, freelancers, individuals, organizations, companies, PR agencies Sponsored Posts etc. The information available on this website is purely for educational and informational purposes only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any of the information provided at globalbankingandfinance.com with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. Globalbankingandfinance.com also links to various third party websites and we cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of the information provided by third party websites. Links from various articles on our site to third party websites are a mixture of non-sponsored links and sponsored links. Only a very small fraction of the links which point to external websites are affiliate links. Some of the links which you may click on our website may link to various products and services from our partners who may compensate us if you buy a service or product or fill a form or install an app. This will not incur additional cost to you. A very few articles on our website are sponsored posts or paid advertorials. These are marked as sponsored posts at the bottom of each post. For avoidance of any doubts and to make it easier for you to differentiate sponsored or non-sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles on our site or all links to external websites as sponsored . Please note that some of the services or products which we talk about carry a high level of risk and may not be suitable for everyone. These may be complex services or products and we request the readers to consider this purely from an educational standpoint. The information provided on this website is general in nature. Global Banking & Finance Review expressly disclaims any liability without any limitation which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of such information.

DELIVERING ON DATA: THE C-SUITE’S STRUGGLE TO EXTRACT FULL VALUE FROM INFORMATION

Elizabeth Bramwell, director at Iron Mountain

Regardless of geography, company size or industry sector, business leaders can be remarkably unanimous about their strategic priorities. When it comes to the strategic significance of digital technologies, for example, 80[i] per cent of the respondents to PwC’s recent CEO survey ranked the need to extract value from information through data mining and analysis as strategically important, second only to mobile technologies (selected by 81 per cent).

Perhaps, as suggested by Forbes, CEOs have simply had enough of listening to colleagues present business ideas unsubstantiated by data and evidence[ii]. Or they are tired of having to make decisions based on impenetrable data that is impossible to understand, as suggested by the Economist Intelligence Unit[iii]. Either way, business leaders appreciate that information has become a vital business asset and competitive differentiator that holds the key to, among other things, better and faster decision-making, improved productivity, and enhanced innovation and customer experience.

As the PwC global CEO study shows, the majority of C-level executives know they need to have the practical resources and skills in place to extract the insight and intelligence they and their business units want from their information. Yet the reality is that despite the good intentions of top executives’, very few organisations are actually employing or deploying the required resources effectively.

A new international study by Iron Mountain and PwC[iv] has discovered that half (53 per cent) of C-level executives believe their organisation doesn’t have the tools or competence to extract the full value from information, and many (48 per cent) suspect that their competitors are doing a better job of it. Just four per cent of businesses appear to have all the skills and resources they need.

The study, which questioned 1,800 senior decision-makers in Europe and North America, including 225 C-level executives in Europe, reveals that many organisations lack understanding of the information they hold and how it is used.

Around a quarter of the European C-level respondents say their organisation doesn’t know what information it holds (23 per cent), how the information flows through the business or where it is either most valuable (28 per cent) or most vulnerable (24 per cent). A fifth (18 per cent) say their organisation doesn’t facilitate the internal sharing of information, and 27 per cent say the organisation doesn’t know how to calculate the value of information to the business.

Access to the right capabilities also represents a considerable challenge for many. A quarter (27 per cent) of the C-level executives surveyed admit to not employing data analysts to extract value from data. The same number confess to a lack of data interpretation (27 per cent) or insight application (26 per cent) skills that would help turn information into decision-ready facts, targeted marketing campaigns and improved processes and innovation.

In the light of this it is not surprising that around 43 per cent of the European and North American companies surveyed currently obtain little tangible benefit from their information and approximately 23 per cent derive no benefit whatsoever.

To help business leaders get to a point where they can start to reap real benefits, Iron Mountain worked with PwC to create an Information Value Index from the study findings. The Index measures how well different businesses in different countries currently manage their information for competitive advantage and realised an average score of 50.1 out of an ideal score of 100 (46.9 in the UK). The Index puts a marker in the sand that executives can use to compare their own performance with other businesses in their size and sector.

There is no time to waste. Over the last few years the information conversation has shifted. While information risk and security remain important, it’s no longer all about locking information down to keep it safe.  Business leaders are now focused on how to set information free and make full use of it for growth and competitive advantage. This new approach to information management will demand change in many areas. The impact of some changes will be easy to accommodate; others, including the impact on culture may be harder; but in the long term, the impact on the business of a failure to act will be the hardest of all.