Are You Ready to Fast Track Your Transformation to a Data Thriver?


Over the next three years, digital transformation (DX) will reshape the entire macroeconomy as the majority of global business revenue centers around digital or digitally enhanced products and services. Structured or unstructured, generated by humans or by machines, and stored in the datacenter or the cloud, data is the new basis for competitive advantage. By leveraging the vast quantity and diversity of data to uncover patterns and pursue breakthrough ideas, an enterprise can win in the increasingly competitive business landscape.


Is your company already being disrupted by other new creative business models? Have you assessed your maturity in data-driven DX? Are you a Data Survivor or a Data Thriver? Data Survivors are those where business has identified a need to develop a DX enhanced and driven business strategy, but the execution is still on a project basis. Subsequently, progress is not predictable, nor repeatable. Data Thrivers are enterprises that are aggressively disruptive in the use of digital technologies to affect new markets; ecosystem feedback is a constant input to business innovation.


An interesting example is a leading financial organization, Citibank. A couple of years ago, the company was confronted with the challenge of customer retention and revenue growth in light of changing customer demographics, growing online interactions and a global customer base. Customers were looking for flexible online banking to support their needs, without the hassle of traveling to banking locations. In response, Citibank launched its CitiExpress Bank in a Box, enabling prospects to perform a number of activities — such as apply for a loan, open a bank account and even start a transaction — via the Citi Velocity mobile app and then complete those activities at a bank ATM. The idea behind this initiative was to be customer centric, support a globally common platform, have digital partnerships and create new distribution channels. The initiative has been quite a success for the bank, contributing millions of dollars in incremental revenue.


IDC recently conducted a worldwide study based on LOB executives, IT leaders, and technology-savvy workers from large and medium-sized companies. Their personas included chief data officers, analytics professionals and DevOps/cloud architects. The study revealed that Data Thrivers exist across industries and organizations, and that they are attracting new customers and enjoying new revenue streams faster than those organizations that are not Data Thrivers.


Here’s a sneak peek into how Data Thrivers are embracing and accelerating data-driven DX:

  • Their most important business objectives for investing in DX initiatives are balanced  between tactical and strategic priorities, including acquiring new customers and launching new digital revenue streams.
  • Their IT investment and integration strategies for DX vary from modernization of infrastructure to leveraging cloud services (public and private); from adding new DevOps skills to implementing containers and NoSQL databases.
  • They are placing more importance on varied data formats (including semistructured and unstructured) and working with data dispersed across on/off-premises; and they are aggressively using hybrid cloud.
  • Their data related challenges vary from security and compliance to data access, quality and analysis. New data roles and technologies are being used to manage challenges..

Transformation to become a Data Thriver is an ongoing process. Success, relevance and innovation start with a leadership culture that is willing to evolve by investing in new technology, processes, and business models that drive more value to both employees and customers. IDC advises businesses to undertake a holistic transformation involving people, processes and technology to achieve targeted business outcomes. To learn more about leveraging a data-driven DX framework to fast track your transformation to Data Thriver, download the IDC White Paper, “Become a Data Thriver: Realize Data-Driven Digital Transformation (DX),” sponsored by NetApp Inc.

Ritu Jyoti

Ritu Jyoti is Research Director for IDC's Enterprise Storage, Server and Infrastructure software team, which includes research offerings, quarterly trackers as well as advisory services and consulting programs. Ms. Jyoti’s core research coverage includes Cognitive/Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics Workloads service that looks at the impact of new machine learning, Hadoop, NoSQL databases and analytics technologies on infrastructure software and hardware markets and Software-Defined Storage(SDS) service which provides coverage of developing technologies, use cases, emerging vendors, business models, buyer case studies, and market estimates for SDS. Based on her background and covering IDC's 3rd Platform research, she also covers Protection, Security, Integration/Orchestration and Data Location Optimization Data Services for Hybrid Cloud enabling and accelerating Digital Transformation.

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