Digital transformation: Taking back control in uncertain times

Commiting to digital transformation efforts is now a priority for businesses, but the digital landscape is more uncertain than ever. With GDPR set to change the way organisations manage and store their data, and Brexit casting questions over the UK economy, there is, understandably a hesitance to commit to a long-term investment plan.

>See also: The truth about digital transformation

What do today’s IT leaders really think about digital transformation? And more specifically, what do they think are the external factors influencing how data is managed? Pure Storage asked over 9,000 IT leaders these questions for its data economy report, Evolution. The report gets right to the heart of how organisations in EMEA plan to invest in order to become digital businesses.

People or data?

Data is becoming one of the most valuable assets an organisation can have. It’s now so valuable that 76% of respondents believe data should be shown as an asset on the company balance sheet.

If this is true, you might think organisations would have a clearer strategy for maximising the value of their data. But identifying the best way to collect, manage, store, analyse and use data is much less obvious than might be expected. Moreover these are also impacted by the changing regulatory and political climate.

The GDPR challenge

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May 2018, and the regulation affects every business that collects, stores or processes the personal data of any EU resident. But when it comes to GDPR readiness, the majority of organisations still need to update their data policies for GDPR compliance. 44% of businesses are currently reviewing their policies, while 18% have yet to begin this process. Just 10% of respondents state they’re ready for GDPR.

>See also: The truth about digital transformation: Cloud and on-premise

It seems confusion rather than complacency is the big GDPR challenge. 89% of businesses are concerned about several facets of GDPR compliance, specifically:

 44%: An understanding of what is required at a government level
 38%: A lack of resources to manage and ensure compliance
 34%: The gaps in existing technology to manage requirements
 31%: A lack of internal planning on what steps need to be taken

Understanding brexit

As if GDPR weren’t enough, Brexit is a source of uncertainty for 91% of respondents in EMEA, with a lack of clarity on government plans (44%), compliance with regulations (39%) and data sovereignty (32%) being the biggest concerns.

In the UK, Brexit is significantly impacting the ability to plan and invest in technology for 76% of respondents. But in a market where innovative businesses are rapidly taking share from less nimble competitors, delaying technology investments could prove counterproductive for the longer term.

A bright outlook

Despite these obstacles, businesses throughout EMEA are positive about enabling digital business. But even with their receptiveness to innovations like public, private and hybrid clouds, their storage and IT resources are under enormous pressure from new data demands.

>See also: The journey of data storage: what’s next?

As digital transformation inexorably gathers momentum, and data-driven businesses becomes the new norm, organisations need platforms that make it simple to gain valuable business insights from data in real time – across all their cloud and on-premise environments. These platforms need to not only deliver commercial insights but do so in a way that is flexible and compliant to help organisations deal with the ever changing regulatory and political landscape.

Those businesses that act now and embrace this choice and flexibility in their storage investments will enjoy the greatest success with their digital transformations.

You can download the full Evolution: The Data Economy Report here


Sourced by James Petter, VP EMEA, Pure Storage

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...