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Harnessing the power of data: Making sense of the chaos with a comprehensive data strategy

Companies today have built a voracious appetite for data and insights. They demand information at their fingertips, but face the growing complexities of data ingestion, data processing, data management, and data security. Here’s where most companies find their dreams for agility come to a halt.

By Mina Lim
Country Managing Director, Oracle Philippines

Data tell important stories, and understanding those stories can positively impact a business’ bottom line, its operations and the experience of those they interact with. Research shows that there is a direct correlation between having a connected data strategy and the success of a company. Organizations that have seen significant revenue growth (20%+) in their organization over the last three years are more likely to have completed data protection initiatives, connected systems initiatives or intelligent automation initiatives than those organizations that have witnessed a decline in that same time.

Companies today have built a voracious appetite for data and insights. They demand information at their fingertips, but face the growing complexities of data ingestion, data processing, data management, and data security. Here’s where most companies find their dreams for agility come to a halt.

Cracking the Code towards a Successful, Comprehensive Data Strategy

Business and IT leaders can together untangle this challenging situation by finding the answer to the fundamental question: How can my company best harness the power of data in a way that easily delivers real-time, streamlined insights without compromising security?

It all starts with having the right foundation in place – a solid, modern cloud infrastructure that is designed specifically for the enterprises of today.

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The opportunities that cloud creates are real and present today, providing the building blocks for companies to pioneer groundbreaking innovations and disrupt entire industries. Today, we’re already seeing organizations across various industries use AI for automatic forecasting without human intervention, to smart manufacturing utilizing real-time Internet-of-Things (IoT) data for equipment optimizations.

In the Philippines, for example, Engineering Equipment, Inc. (EEI) Corporation, one of the leading construction company in the Philippines, decided to upgrade its on-premises Oracle E-Business Suite to the Oracle ERP Cloud to help bring greater visibility, transparency, and speed to its business, Key to the initiative was adopting Oracle Cloud’s Modern Best Practices to create more efficient and effective ways of working and achieving business goals.

Today, with the support of Oracle ERP Cloud, EEI, is known not just for the high quality of services but also for their workforce’s competitiveness and excellence, is stronger and more confident of taking on massive projects. Much of that confidence stems from its ability to create greater visibility. Reports, for instance, which took weeks to produce now only require a few days, ensuring more frequent check-ins and opportunities for course correction.

The second-generation of cloud enable highly complex workloads and mission-critical systems. They deliver better guarantees for security, continuity, control, and price performance. In addition, this provides access to innovations spanning autonomous database, AI, machine learning (ML), blockchain, IoT, and human interfaces. Ultimately, IT organizations will have the confidence and new capabilities to completely rely on the cloud for their mission-critical operations.

Taking security up a notch

In 2019, the World Economic Forum cited cyber-attacks and data theft as top global risks for organizations of all sizes.

Cyber-attacks and data theft are no longer threats that affect only a small number of organizations but have become global concerns for organizations of all sizes, across all industries and in any region of the world. The threat actors are using more innovative techniques and automation than ever to attack our enterprises and steal sensitive data, almost always in ways that it can be monetized. It is critical that organizations more effectively address the risks from cyber-attacks.

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Cybersecurity failures and breaches have real impacts on their businesses, impacts that can often lead to the dismissal of the CEO or other top executives, especially those responsible for the security and technology infrastructure. Specifically, cybersecurity failings can lead to near-term impacts from service disruption in the form of revenue and bookings, such as if a point-of-sale system is unavailable, or the long-term business impacts of disruption and “move away effect” such as when automated systems of a retailer failover to another shipper during an outage and do not automatically switch back after service is restored. Breaches and security incidents also lead to diminished customer trust and tarnished company reputation, and can require cyber risk disclosures to shareholders that impact share price and the costs to remediate risk and breaches. There is also the increased compliance burden that may require more resources, time and energy proving that your business is compliant with regulatory mandates.

Oracle has been building security into its technologies and protecting our customers’ sensitive data for decades. We have a long history of providing the utmost levels of security for customers who have chosen Oracle to securely manage their data and business-critical applications. Oracle technologies now have a focus on security across Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Autonomous Database, SaaS applications as well as our on-premises infrastructure and applications. Oracle has had a long -term focus on security and this focus is highly important as our customers move to cloud, where we have an intense emphasis on security, pursuing a secure-by-design cloud for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and automating and integrating security into every layer of the cloud.

Empowering business users from the front office to the back office

Today’s modern business is connected, intelligence-driven and pulls the future forward by harnessing emerging technologies such as social, mobile, analytics, big data, IoT and AI to not only address current market demands but to revolutionize for tomorrow.

In a recent IDC survey, 97% of “digitally determined” organizations want fully connected processes across their entire business but in reality, only 5% are fully integrated. These organizations (have higher maturity in their modernization efforts) cited benefits around revenue, efficiency, and operational insights when connected processes are put into practice.

Functional and data silos of the past simply cannot support a modern business. Today, every business process needs to be connected and the power of the organization’s data unlocked to flow seamlessly through end-to-end transactions.

The benefits of a unified ERP and HCM Cloud have never been clearer. With connected and scalable Modern Best Practice processes that leverage next-generation technologies, and that are built into Oracle’s ERP Cloud and HCM Cloud, organizations can quickly become the transformative and collaborative business of today and the agile and innovative business of the future.

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Making sense of the data: Discovering insights with analytics

Data is flooding in from various sources—mobile, computers, servers, wearables, and IoT devices—leading to a rise in unstructured data. Add to that the changing regulations, most businesses are unable to process and analyze all the information that is available to them. As a result, they often make critical decisions relying only on subsets of data and missing out on potential growth opportunities.

This is where prebuilt analytics applications come in—the next big wave of innovation for analytics and business intelligence. These are role-based applications that deliver insights in the context of a business person’s role and they include both in-the-moment metrics as well as forward-looking KPIs.

In the past, IT was tasked with providing the data and analyses the lines of business needed to answer their questions, but the process took time and effort—often too much time and effort. Today, business analysts have taken the lead with self-service business intelligence (BI) tools to perform their own analyses. But, they still have to find the data, cleanse it, and mash it with other sources of data before they can even begin to answer questions they know about, never mind the ones they haven’t even thought of yet.

The future of analytics is self-service access to intelligent insights. By leveraging embedded ML and integrating analytics, intelligent insights present the right information to the right people, at the right time, using a device of choice.

Unlocking endless possibilities and driving innovation

So what are the key takeaways that can be derived from this? A comprehensive and integrated strategy for leveraging data is a key driver for business growth for organizations looking to excel in today’s data-driven economy. With a comprehensive strategy in place, organizations can look forward to unlocking endless possibilities that can positively impact their business, employee and customer experience as well as be empowered to do their best to positively impact their communities.

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