Businesses struggle to derive competitive advantage from information – study

Most businesses have a long way to go before they can fully release the value from their information

 Businesses struggle to derive competitive advantage from information – study

For businesses, garnering information for competitive advantage is a vital step towards growth.  Yet the reality is that very few organisations are actually employing or deploying the required resources effectively to be able to do so. 

This is therefore resulting in only 4% of businesses being able to extract the full value from their information.  

In conjunction with PwC, Iron Mountain recently surveyed 1,800 senior business leaders across Europe and North America and discovered that over a third (36%) of mid-sized and enterprise level organisations are lacking the tools and skills they need to extract value from data. 

> See also: What data-driven CEOs really need from information

This is despite a belief held by 64% of these leaders that they are already making the most of their information. 

By taking a look at the resources that organisations currently have in place, it is clear that in reality there is a very different story to what business leaders believe when it comes to information value.

In fact, over a quarter (26% in the UK) of those surveyed don’t employ data analysts to extract value, 19% lack the data interpretation skills or insight application capabilities (27% in the UK) required to turn information into the decision-ready facts that improve processes and deliver a return on information.

Information is among one of the most undervalued assets in the commercial world yet, every interaction with a customer or stakeholder delivers market intelligence, customer insight, an opportunity for innovation and the potential for profit. 

Iron Mountain's research with PwC shows how a lack of skills and technical capabilities, as well as a number of cultural factors, are holding many companies back from achieving their goal of gathering value from information for business benefit.

Until organisations fully understand this and put into practice the collection and evaluation of data, they continue to become irrelevant in the fast moving corporate world.

When it comes to information management, many of the world’s leading companies don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to value from information and aren’t trying to find out either.

> See also: CEOs and information managers struggle to understand each other, research shows

The results of the study have been used to create an Information Value Index that measures how well different businesses in different countries currently manage their information for competitive advantage.

With an average score of 50.1 out of an ideal score of 100 (46.9 in the UK), the Index confirms that the vast majority of businesses – regardless of size, geography or sector – have a long way to go before they can fully release the value from their information.

Sourced from Elizabeth Bramwell, director at Iron Mountain

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