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Report highlights benefits and challenges of data use in Australia and New Zealand

NetApp identifies the benefits organisations in Australia and New Zealand can glean from data and highlights the challenges they face in doing so

NetApp recently released a report entitled Megatrends and data: Adapting to disruption which studies at the challenges faced by organisations in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) in general terms, then looks at the issues of meeting those challenges using data analysis.

The research was conducted by Tech Research Asia and surveyed 468 ANZ organisations – 378 in Australia, 90 in New Zealand. According to the results, the top five megatrends that are considered most disruptive by business and IT leaders are:

  • Economic change, selected by 46% of CIOs and 49.6% of CxOs.
  • Technology innovation and the internet, selected by 44% of CIOs and 47% of CxOs.
  • Changing consumer expectations and behaviour, selected by 32.5% of CIOs and 40% of CxOs.
  • Population growth, selected by 31% of CIOs and 30% of CxOs.
  • Ageing population, selected by 18% of CIOs and 26.5% of CxOs.

That is interesting in itself, but what’s arguably more interesting is the way these challenges are being met. It turns out that one in four ANZ organisations are already using data analytics to prepare for the arrival of these megatrends. More will doubtless follow.

Yet that approach brings a new set of challenges. Both business and IT leaders note a raft of issues with using data to help manage these business problems. They include:

  • 30% of CxOs struggle to find people with the right skills to analyse the data, and 31% have difficulty with timeliness of access to data.
  • 41% of CIOs find it challenging to secure their data, while one in five are concerned about a lack of data portability across providers.
  • One-third of CIOs and CxOs are challenged to find cost-effective storage of data.
  • 28% of CxOs are also concerned their internal data management skills are not strong enough.

“For most organisations, none of these trends are new, said Dell ANZ's general manager of enterprise, John McCloskey. “Many business leaders have already set their sights on a few key initiatives, which will leverage these trends to support the business. However, it is the implementation of technological change which can be difficult. Technology evolution is a journey that happens step-by-step over time, and time can have an impact on value.

Read more about enterprise IT in ANZ

“IT will continue to evolve to meet changing business needs and technology demands. There isn’t a one-size fits all solution or a silver bullet that will help to address the megatrends. The key to transformational benefits is to create an integrated, optimised and future-proof IT environment, designed for efficiency and flexibility, he added.

This is, of course, all good news for anyone supplying systems to help firms cope with these megatrends, including managing and analysing the vast volumes of data involved.

There’s certainly a willing market. “The research tells us that, on average, ANZ organisations perceive an improvement of anywhere between 18% and 32% in a range of financial metrics and operational activities by using data more effectively,” said Steve Manley, managing director of NetApp ANZ.

So perhaps the overarching megatrend is simply this: Data analysis and management for business intelligence are here to stay. .......... ............ ............. .............

Read more on Master data management (MDM) and integration

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