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Leverage Your Data Strategy to Remain Competitive: Part 3

Tom Berger
10 Apr, 2023

How Banking CTOs/CIOs can use an enterprise data strategy to be proactive, increase ROI, and remain competitive

So, what can you do?

There are two ways to approach your data journey:

  • The expensive, fast way or
  • The methodical, value-driven way

In Part 1 of this blog series, “Why Does Banking IT Need to Prioritize Data Strategy?,” Asad Mahmood, Vice President and Industry Director for Data and AI at HSO discussed the need for senior technology executives to develop a strategic approach to data collection and analytics.

In Part 2, “What Data Behaviors Impact Security and Trustworthiness?,” Asad explained the advantages of a unified data strategy to maintain data security while simultaneously breaking down data silos.

In this final article, Asad discusses the steps toward a comprehensive enterprise data strategy.

Taking the first steps toward enterprise data management

In the previous blogs, I talked about the goals of the entire data management process. In this blog, I discuss the steps along the journey of enterprise data management.

For all the different implementations in which my team and I have been involved, we have seen more success where the company refused to go with a big-bang approach.

The big-bang approach has the advantage of everything being completed at one time. However, you must spend a significant amount of time and money before you can reap any of the benefits – you must convert and migrate the entire application or process before it can be used.

Instead, we see better results when you create a program; it becomes a journey where you gradually go from different states of your data, adding more and more value as you go along.

The data estate approach is more agile because it moves in short increments, adding more value in each step. And that beauty creates immediate value for the business users all along the journey.

  • 1

    Data estate

    One thing we consider for any organization is to treat every data element being generated as an asset.

    We are not talking about just bringing the sales data from here, or customer data or CRM information from over there.

    Instead, we are talking about every data point, all those silos, and all the validated and unvalidated information that exists or is being generated in the organization. That becomes your data estate.

  • 2

    Data governance

    Starting from the data estate, you put in governance to have a proper inventory and catalog of all your data and databases. Business users and even IT executives might not know what data exists, where it exists, and what may be the most beneficial management of that data until a governance piece is in place.

    You want to let business users utilize more and more data – give it a purpose. Still, you need strong and secure governance. And you’ll need a strong catalog to help with the initial discovery of the data so they can start looking at all the information that exists in the organization.

  • 3

    Data quality

    As you start making a list of all your data sources, the first question is how to manage the data quality.

    - Look at all the various data elements.
    - Identify where they are coming from.
    - Define how they are used (remember, “treat every data element as an asset”).

    Once you see how the data is being implemented in these different scenarios, you can assess the quality and which data can be trusted.

  • 4

    Trusted data

    Whenever we create a new initiative to utilize certain data elements, we make sure it connects with the central data collection and analytics engine.

    As you keep on building, you can see all your organizational data and how it will help you beyond just your current initiatives.

Advanced decisions lead to your competitive advantage

Your decision quality starts changing once you know you have trusted data.

And finally, if you are making more advanced decisions based on trusted data using metrics and KPIs, you start getting that competitive advantage. You have new products which you are bringing in. You have new services which you want to provide to business users. That gives you a competitive advantage.

You started from a data state using siloed, untrusted, and unqualified data.

Now, you have come into the competitive advantage state via a gradual journey that was adopted and trusted by your team over time. That is a successful strategy to be executed.

Both HSO and Microsoft have demonstrated a strong portfolio of customers. They are leaders in the banking space and now the FinTech space, providing that layer will interact with our customers.

Pedro Martinez Chief Information Officer, Zenus Bank

Next Steps – How HSO and Microsoft can help

At HSO, we start by analyzing the current state and identifying the challenges. Then, we look at what will need to change from this state to an improved data strategy and a centralized data-driven approach.

We provide a deep-down assessment, a key element of this process. Our consultants will interview the individuals who have ownership of the various data generation engines in the organization and catalog the different data assets that are currently available. We identify the challenges and the areas which are causing trouble.

We support your data initiative with ROI

We isolate the individual data elements and formulate an overall enterprise data strategy for them. This is a significant part of the value we add.

Included in that strategy is a Return on Investment (ROI) calculation that any executive can bring before the board and shows the benefits of investing in the project using hard numbers. Our consultants come in to help with the assessment and ROI calculation for these initiatives.

In our experience, the ROI analysis shows immediate savings and that the investment payback was often less than one year, not only for the cost of hardware but also for services.

Once we have those numbers, winning approval and starting on that journey is relatively easy. HSO can help you get going with Microsoft technology.

Video: How Zenus Bank is Building Compliant Technology and Delivering Secure Services by Partnering with HSO and Microsoft

Hear how and why a data-centric infrastructure is revolutionizing Zenus Bank

Hear their story

An enterprise data strategy will reduce your Total Cost of Ownership

The final piece: The CTOs and C-level executives on the IT side need to consider the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). When you keep creating these data silos, your costs increase. Your tangible and intangible costs skyrocket.

But if you have an enterprise strategy, you can calculate your TCO today and compare that to what the TCO will be once you have completed your data strategy initiatives.

Many of our customers initially think that the enterprise data strategy and initiative will take too much money and time. However, we have found that the cost of ownership savings actually pays for itself.

You might be spending tens of millions today, which you could save if you had a better strategy around your data state. If you have a better strategy, your services will improve, and your business users will be using more and more data. This makes your business more agile and more competitive, but your TCO will go down.

That’s where having an enterprise data strategy pays for itself. Having that business case, with an assessment, a plan of action, ROI figures, and a lower TCO, are the keys to helping the CTOs and CIOs build a strategy that works for the organization.


Learn more about our experience in the Banking industry

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