In an exclusive interview with Dataquest, Chris Powell, CMO, Commvault shares his views on challenges impacting CIO’s and CEO’s in the industry today and how businesses extract the value from data, without increasing cost and complexity. Excerpts:
What are the major trends and challenges impacting CIO’s and CEO’s?
The IT industry is moving at an unprecedented pace. Effective data management is no longer the sole domain of the IT department. In our digital era, the question for business leaders is how important is data to their business? Our many interactions with business leaders unanimously discuss the importance of data in their business decisions. Data is important because they have value for the business and increasingly so. The challenge lies in managing the data. Companies’ movement to the cloud, adoption of hybrid infrastructure environment, attractiveness of SaaS, mobility of workforce although offer much relief in agility and many other business considerations, it created silo data pools in an organization. The time to re-think data strategy is now.
CIOs and business leaders are also challenged with acquiring and retaining talent. They will need to adopt radical talent acquisition and retention strategies if they hope to not only secure and keep skilled and motivated employees, but also ensure that all these employees are ‘rowing together’ in full alignment with the enterprise’s business goals. To do so, organizations need to leverage HR related data and build analytical capabilities to use it productively. For example, it is not uncommon for talent acquisition team to automate talent search on sites like LinkedIn; big data and analytics are increasingly becoming important for finding and retaining the right talent.
What is so special about your offerings and how does it help the users?
Commvault offerings have been a consistent and reliable choice for enterprises across the world for many years. With the proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things), cloud and mobile, organizations are gathering increasing amount of data on a daily basis. Our 20+ years of dedication in research and innovation has never wavered, our offerings are the result of a continuous improvement to our software code, never through acquisition and trying to make different codes work. Users enjoy a consistent quality experience with Commvault from product to services and support.
Data has come a long way from being seen as a ‘challenge’ that occupies storage space to a ‘physical asset’ that brings value to business. As businesses continue to tread the path of digital transformation, data will evolve strategically for critical business decisions and investment. All data are not created equal. Consider these five fundamentals to derive value from your data: know your data, federate your data, mobilize data, govern your data, and secure your data.
What are the trends and opportunities on data management in the cloud today?
Digital transformation, big data analytics and IoT are fuelling unprecedented data growth among organizations. While Cloud is certainly an effective way to store this data, cloud alone cannot solve all the data management problems. It’s important to develop a clear understanding of the data and its value to the company to decide where and how to store it. Categorization of data is thus a critical aspect in deciding the relevance of data. While cloud providers offer you the infrastructure to store the data, only a firm data management strategy can mitigate data-related risks.
Along with this holistic approach, organizations are looking at data management solutions that have the flexibility to manage their data on-premise, in the cloud, or wherever they need it to be. They demand solutions that simplify and manage their existing cloud infrastructure, enhance data protection and minimize data duplication during backup and recovery processes. There is a growing demand in the market around data protection that lower operating and capital expenses provide reliable, secure and quick access to business data.
What are the strategies for C-suite executives to leverage data to deliver business value to their organizations?
Data analytics and big data are already top priorities for today’s business leaders. The mind-set change required to succeed in the digital world means that the next generation of C-suite executives must have a much better grasp in using data regardless of their role in the organization. Balancing this with demands of compliance and governance as governments amend and introduce new regulations to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape where data often resides in various jurisdictions. This means C-suite executives will have to bring about a transformative change in the way a company uses data in its day-to-day business.
Roles like Chief Data Officer, Chief Digital Officer, and Chief Customer Officer reflect organizations’ efforts to adapt to changing business needs and roles in existing leadership structure.
How the role of a CMO has evolved in today’s digital era? What are the new challenges in the digital era?
CMO is no longer just a promotional role but one that is responsible for critical customer facing, revenue generating systems and applications. Gartner predicts that 65% of CMOs have their own capital budgets, with digital commerce as key spending areas.
CMOs today must be as comfortable leading and talking about analytics, apps and other digital transformation initiatives as they are talking about customer experience. CMOs need to be truly data-driven and approach the business knowing that the buyer is in greater control of the purchase process than ever before. The challenge is whether you are the CEO, CFO, CMO or CIO, the race to stay relevant will determine who still has a seat at the top table tomorrow.
How can businesses efficiently extract the value from data, without increasing cost and complexity?
We are entering a digital age where the abundance of information can be a problem – or an opportunity. With the billions of IoT devices being connected as smart chips are embedded in everything from cars to fridges to warehouse loaders, enterprises need to be prepared to deal with the petabytes of information that will be flowing in. Be it data analytics, big data or software-defined storage initiatives, organizations need to understand the complexity of data management but more importantly realize the importance of data in business today.
Intelligent data management can automate access to, transfer between and the syncing of data between dozens of applications, databases and various other enterprise data lakes – if enterprises do not want their IT administration costs to skyrocket and their business processes to slow down.