A recent report by DellEMC, ‘The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things’, found, among other things, that the digital world is doubling in size every two years. As businesses, and our world as a whole, become increasingly digitised, the way in which we handle the ever expanding quantities of data at our disposal is crucial. The key ingredient in every successful digital transformation is data governance.

In our latest article, we take a closer look at the role of data governance in digital transformation.

What is Digital Transformation?

People often assume that digital transformation is simply the laborious process of converting all of your business information and data from paper to digital. However, the reality is that digital transformation is an extremely complex process, involving technological and procedural change. Digital transformation can help, not only to modernise a business, but to completely transform a business model by unlocking data, insights, and learnings that were previously unavailable.

The challenge for a business undergoing digital transformation, then, beyond the initial challenges posed by the transformation itself, is managing all this digital data securely, and, further, how to harness it’s power for the benefit of the business.

Data Governance: Unlocking The Power of Your Data

Data governance is a key element of digital transformation. Regulations covering proper data use are extensive, and are about to become more so, with the upcoming introduction of the GDPR. Meanwhile, the penalties for breaching data regulations can be particularly prohibitive.

The 2015 Talk Talk data breach, for example, resulted in a £400,000 fine for the UK telecoms company, not to mention irreparable reputational damage. With the introduction of the GDPR, penalties for data breaches are set to be even more punitive, with fines of up to €20 million or 4 percent of turnover (whichever is greater), for the most serious breaches. With as many as two thirds of large UK businesses experiencing data security breaches, good data governance is crucial safeguarding your data, and your company’s reputation.

Clearly, data governance is key to ensuring the security of your data, but it can also make a positive impact elsewhere in your business. Data governance determines how data is collected, managed and integrated throughout the company. Such a wealth of data can enable companies to operate more efficiently, to provide a better service to their customers, and to make their marketing campaigns more effective. In such ways, data governance enables digital transformation to go beyond the mere transition from paper to electronic, and provides a new model for how a business operates on every level.

Data governance frameworks also provide the flexibility which is crucial in an ever changing technological landscape. Master data models and similar governance processes enable businesses to respond and adapt to any external or internal change, such as mergers, acquisitions, or a transition from a high street store to e-commerce.

Digital transformation and data governance go hand in hand, and the former should not be undertaken without giving proper consideration to the latter. Understanding the relationship between digital transformation and data governance will enable you to modernise your business, to make it flexible, to ensure the security of your data, and to open a number of new business opportunities by unlocking and harnessing the invaluable data at your disposal.

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