DEJ’s recent article “Sitting on the Winning Ticket for Digital Transformation” discussed how Big Data Analytics solutions are positioned better than any other class of enterprise technology to enable digital transformation. However, the article also shows that not many technology vendors in this market are focusing on this area in their go-to-market strategies and messaging.

There are several reason for that and one key rationales is that digital transformation is not a well defined term, which makes it more difficult for vendors to craft their message around enabling organizations to become digital businesses. Additionally, challenges of Big Data are already creating numerous opportunities for vendors and focusing on digital transformation might seem like a risky and unnecessary effort. However, there are many opportunities around enabling digital transformation that outweigh these concerns and the most important ones can be categorized in three areas: 1) budgeting for technology purchases; 2) goals of digital businesses and; 3) goals of executives and job roles leading digital transformation efforts.

Budgeting for technology purchases

One of the key attributes of leaders in digital transformation is that many of them are changing the processes for budgeting technology purchases and instead of applying a percentage of the previous year’s revenues to define their technology budget, they are starting to use the RGT model (Run, Grow, Transform). This model allows organizations to ensure that they can allocate enough resources to innovation, growth, transformation and using technology as a competitive advantage while making sure that their business operates smoothly and at optimal cost. Big Data Analytics technologies are well positioned to tap into resources from each of these three budgeting buckets which creates a major opportunity for technology vendors to elevate their message and tie it into the key goals of job roles that are in charge of running digital transformation.

Key goals of digital businesses and value of Big Data Analytics

DEJ’s 2016 Digital Transformation survey identified key goals of organizations that are looking to become digital businesses and market drivers for digital transformation. One can make the case that Big Data Analytics are more than relevant for addressing each of these goals.

New revenue streams. Forty-eight percent of organizations reported that the ability to create new revenue streams is one of their goals for digital transformation. Additionally, 42% reported that they are looking to monetize market data. The role that Big Data analytics solutions play in helping organizations realize market opportunities, define requirements of products and services that can address these opportunities or even enable building data driven products is invaluable – and these are just some of the areas where Big Data Analytics solutions can help address this goal.

Customer engagement and satisfaction. Sixty-eight percent of organizations reported that the need to improve customer engagement and satisfaction has increased over the last 12 months. Additionally, 46% and 47% reported that their needs for processing and analyzing customer data in real-time and personalizing marketing and sales activities respectively has increased over the same period of time. This provides technology vendors to make their capabilities built around Customer 360 use cases into major enablers of digital transformation.

Integration. This is one of the key attributes of top performing organizations in digital transformation, as they are 4.5 times more likely to meet their integration goals. One of the key promises of Big Data is breaking down the silos, and the same goes for most Big Data Analytics solutions when it comes to pulling data from various sources and locations and bringing it together.

Collaboration. Organizations that are outperforming their peers in meeting their digital transformation goals are 2.5 more likely to improve internal collaboration. Most Big Data Analytics solutions provide strong capabilities that allow multiple job roles to collaborate to the benefit of the organization.

Agility and flexibility. Both of these areas are very high on the agendas of organizations that are looking to become digital businesses. Capabilities of Big Data Analytics solutions, such as analyzing real-time data and making it easy for decision makers to analyze data and respond to insights quickly, are key competencies needed for becoming an agile organization.

Finding top talent. Fifty-two percent reported that finding talent is becoming more difficult and is one their key challenges in digital economy. It might not be immediately obvious how Big Data Analytics solutions are addressing this issue, but organizations in DEJ’s research identified several areas where these solutions can help with this challenge: 1) ability to get the most out of  valuable employees and be able to grow without adding more expensive staff (38% of respondents); 2) use Big Data analytics in recruiting, evaluating and managing employees (36%); 3) reduce churn rate by making customer facing and revenue generating employees more informed and better enabled (32%).

This is only a partial list of digital transformation goals, drivers and others, that are also very relevant for the value proposition of Big Data Analytics solutions, including (all being reported by more than 35% of organizations):

  1. Provide solutions that can benefit multiple parts of an organization
  2. Improve Time to Market
  3. Accelerate innovation
  4. Improve decision making process
  5. Improve business process efficiency
  6. Improve knowledge management

Job roles leading the charge in digital transformation

Many Big Data solutions came from backgrounds of solving data or technology challenges and, therefore, value and messaging for many of them is targeted towards job roles that prepare, manage or use the data (Data Scientists, Business Analysts, etc.). Even those solutions that are being sold to line-of-business owners or business managers are mostly positioned in the light of specific, more or less tactical, problems they are trying to solve or individual processes they are looking to improve. However, Big Data Analytics technology vendors have a story that resonates very well with CIOs, CMOs, CDOs, CEOs and other job roles leading and driving digital transformation. The benefits of having these job roles as partners are obvious, as they would not only increase the value of Big Data Analytics deployments, but also make these technologies a truly strategic asset. DEJ’s research shows that 41% of organizations are looking to make technology an integral part of business strategy and this is where true opportunity lies for Big Data Analytics vendors. Nevertheless, for that story to be heard it needs to be told in a language they can understand, which means – aligning value proposition of Big Data Analytics with key business objectives for digital transformation.

Big Data Analytics solutions have a unique opportunity to not just be one of the many enablers of digital transformation, but a technology class that, if deployed properly, can address most of the key goals of digital transformation. The challenge with that is many of the vendors are currently focused on specific uses cases or pain points and are looking to address the challenges of managing data and emphasizing how their solutions can address business, transformation and growth objections of user organizations.

The opportunity for Big Data Analytics is there, but in order to take advantage of it vendors need to understand that they are not in the business of solving Big Data challenges, but in the business of solving key enterprise objectives.