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Data is a Corporate Asset – SMB/SMEs need to get Onboard



Are you drowning in data ?

A more enterprise view of data and the collapse of data silos is a good thing for all businesses. The collapse of data silos is no longer the sole domain of the Fortune 500 or 1000 firm. Many mid market and SMB/SMEs need to look at embracing the same strategies towards data that these larger corporate entities embrace.

The collapse of individual silos means that the ad hoc single solution fixes for data integration need to go by the way side. The imperative for this change is all the more important in the global world we operate in, where products are increasingly becoming commodities and labour is portable. This is a fundamental shift in that integrating data needs to be viewed from a strategic perspective. We have blogged previously about this, but it seems to be a hard sell in the mid market and SMB space largely due to resource allocation and ignorance. Business owners can’t see the forest for the trees as an old lumberjack I once knew used to say. It however also reflects a more profound issue that business needs to think about. Data is an asset.

Data is a corporate asset and in our ever-increasing data saturated world those firms that embrace data as a key corporate asset will generate new sources of revenue. Creating value out of data has been up until now the domain of the very few.

What do I mean? Traditionally firms have bought and sold goods to produce value, the old economic model of trading goods. Since the industrial revolution that economic model has evolved and become more sophisticated and complex. Today companies not only buy and sell goods but they add value to those goods by packaging services around those goods.  In the retail field for example this is increasingly more common where commodity products are purchased for resale by retailers directly from low cost manufacturers bypassing the old trading company. Those North American distribution channels that have survived since 2008 have added value to product sourcing by adding in services, whether they be design, packaging or other. Increasingly, as the retail landscape changes to a more personalized shopping experience, web and mobile based data is going to become a critical component of the relationship that those distributors will have with their customers. Companies will more than ever need to think about data from a strategic perspective. This shift will require data to be viewed as an asset.

So why does data need to be viewed a strategic asset? Its really very simple. Companies are increasingly going to have to fascinate their customers not only to retain them but also to gain new ones. Part of that fascination model is to provide data that is not only clean, but timely and data that reduces the burden on the buying party and ultimately the supply chain these companies participate in.

What do I mean ? if you are a distributor and your partner wants to integrate you to a web program you are now not only providing product for sale on the web site but in more and more cases you as a distributor are also providing the data to create the web experience around that product. If you as a distributor are unable to provide any meaningful data to help create that mobile experience, then the retailer will find someone who is able and willing. Ergo, you just lost the customer, you didn’t fascinate them. Unfortunately too many SMB/SMEs see no value in data but more importantly don’t even understand how critically important data is to their survival.

Virtual Logistics has developed a data integration methodology for SMB/SMEs to help them understand how data is being used within their organizations and from there help them develop an internal and external integration strategy to harness the power of that data. If you don’t know how your data moves then you can’t possibly know how and what to integrate and with what tools. That leads to ad hoc decisioning which costs and is bad in the long run. Take a read of our ebook for some ideas and see how we can help you develop a strategy to harness the power of your data.


Categories: ecommerce, technology