Rasmus Wegener: The Business Case for Prioritizing the 'I' in IT

Despite collecting mountains of digital information, many IT departments are being held back by a lack of business-IT governance. Rasmus Wegener, a partner with Bain’s Advanced Analytics practice, shares three strategies companies can use to derive meaningful insights from their data.

Read the Bain Digital blog: The Business Case for Prioritizing the “I” in IT

Read the transcript below.

RASMUS WEGENER: Most companies today are awash in data. A recent Bain survey found that amongst large enterprises, over half of them do not get many meaningful business insights or business value out of that data.

But amongst the best companies, what we found is that information technology has actually advanced to become insights technology. IT has evolved to become not just an operator of technology and a handler of data, to becoming a sparring partner of the business, someone who understands the business opportunities and business challenges and truly enables the business to perform better and to innovate.

That is actually reflective of the business models of many of the digital native companies that put insights technology, data and insights at the very core of their business models, at the very core of their most important processes and the decisions they take.

Today, though, many IT departments are being held back by a lack of business-IT governance, which leads to that lack of understanding of what the business opportunities are; by a lack of incentives even of the leaders in IT to be aligned with and incentivized by business outcomes; and by a general lack of investments into handling of data, data prioritization tools and the talent required.

There are really three fairly simple strategies that help IT departments address the challenges they face today. The first one is, prioritize investments by the business priorities. And that requires a good deal of dialogue and fixing, in some cases, the business-IT governance.

Number two, invest into fairly foundational aspects of the IT value delivery. That's as simple as the data collection, the data storage, the provisioning, the handling of policies and the talent that is required to actually deal with data. Thirdly, create lighthouse success stories. Businesses are craving IT departments that are true sparring partners that understand them, and that, in an agile fashion, allow access to data and are a partner in the generation of insights.

There are two ways that investing in IT is actually paying back for companies. The first one is that businesses that do that actually have a 2x likelihood of outperforming their peers within their respective industries. And secondly, that type of handling of IT and moving IT into becoming a sparring partner, and becoming a true information and insights provider, hardens the business model of these types of companies so that they are more resilient against disruption by digital native companies.

Read the Bain Digital blog: The Business Case for Prioritizing the “I” in IT