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In defense of managing data

Rachel Wheeler Archive
Executives may wonder why certain functions within the IT department need to exist. The economy has not yet reached full speed following the most recent recession, meaning processes that can be cut are likely on the chopping block. According to ITWeb, a recent industry gathering contained an explanation of data management's business importance by Deloitte associate director Werner Swanepoel.

Information as a resource

Leaving data fallow and assuming it is sufficient to help the company could be a poor decision. According to ITWorld, Swanepoel believes strongly in investing in management processes for data. He stated that the eventual costs incurred from untended data will greatly exceed those of any systems brought in to keep it organized.

The source reported that Swanepoel put numbers to his estimates. He stated that poor data quality could reduce a company's revenue by 20 percent. He stated that companies starting to manage data can examine current information reserves and may even discover new chances to extract value from the archives they already have and described the programs as "high-impact."

"Data management is all the things you need to do to your data asset that you are already doing to all of your other assets," Swanepoel said, according to the source. "In modern organizations, data is something that needs to be managed in order to leverage opportunity."

ITWorld noted that there was a visual component to Swanepoel's explanation. He posited that different data management strategies can change the building blocks of corporate strategy through literal building blocks, giving the audience for his presentation a variety of LEGO bricks. Some groups received poor quality blocks and were unable to build a satisfactory structure. That, according to Swanepoel, simulated the effect of poor data on a business.

IT marches ahead

While corporate executives are aware of the market's uncertainties, they also understand the value of IT investment. According to recent IDC figures, spending growth will be generally weaker in 2012 than 2011 but still positive. Worldwide figures surprised researchers by coming in only slightly lower than last year's high 7 percent growth at 6 percent.

The current rash of fairly strong IT investment shows that companies have a place in their budgets for new tech purchases. Leaders can take advantage of moments like this to ensure vital objectives are met, and keeping data safe is one of those.