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The two-speed IT paradigm: Using data to drive innovation

It was Ben Franklin who once said: “Great haste makes great waste.” While this is sometimes true, in today’s quickly evolving digital marketplace, you can quickly be outpaced by competitors if you’re not constantly and rapidly advancing your products and services.

I’m not saying that you should throw the rule book out the window and jump into new business ventures willy-nilly. But, there’s a widespread belief that when it comes to getting things done, working with speed and upholding standards need to be mutually exclusive. Common thinking is that if you’re rushing to get things done, you’re going to make mistakes; but, if you move slowly, you’ll achieve greater results.

A coworker of mine once proclaimed: “If you’re not moving ahead, you’re falling behind!” And guess what? He was right! What’s the point in taking your time if you’re going to cede market share to your competition?

Data fuels innovation

Every company wants to be thought of as innovative, and real-time access to their data is a prerequisite for enabling timely strategic decision-making. However, many organizations lack the resources to make that happen in a sustainable way. Culling and reporting on data are often time-consuming tasks assigned to the IT department, so business leaders are often left in the dark until a report is generated—sometimes weeks later!

Rather than investing in ways to facilitate this process, many companies simply focus their IT resources on maintaining the status quo. But in today’s rapidly evolving business environment, organizations will need to take their IT departments from reactive resources to proactive parts of strategic decision-making.

And, it’s easier than you think!

By embracing a two-speed, or bimodal approach, you can create two teams within your IT department that work independently, yet synergistically, to meet ongoing needs of the business. While one team (traditional IT) is dedicated to ensuring the continuity of services and products, the other IT team (agile IT) can be dedicated to working on more forward-looking initiatives that improve upon products or leverage the business’s data to create new streams of revenue. To learn more about what a two-speed IT approach looks like, including some benefits and considerations, check out our white paper “Embracing a two-speed IT paradigm.”

Tips for embracing a two-speed approach

By implementing a two-speed approach in your data management program, you can start leveraging your organization’s data as a strategic asset. To help get you started, we’ve put together some best practices. For a more in-depth look at how to implement a two-speed IT approach, check out our white paper “Putting the two-speed IT paradigm to work: An innovative approach to data management.”

  1. Establish guidelines and define responsibilities
    Like any organizational change, it’s vital that you communicate responsibilities and expectations clearly among all stakeholders. Your CIO and CDO (if you have one) should work to establish these guidelines and disseminate the information to each team. This will help to establish a consistent understanding of the two-speed IT paradigm for your business and enable individual stakeholders to understand the leadership’s expectations.
  2. Invest in your greatest assets
    When it comes to driving innovation successfully, you must invest in your people, processes, and technology. The especially applies when utilizing a two-speed approach within your data management program. You’ll need to hire and train the right people for your initiative, establish streamlined and repeatable processes, and invest in the applicable tools to empower your teams.
  3. Be innovative, take calculated risks
    You can’t innovate without a little risk, but any risk you do assume should be calculated and reasonable. By developing new products or features, and taking calculated risks on them, you can stay one step ahead of your competition. In a two-speed approach, your agile team should take advantage of a hypothesis or sandbox environment to test the programs and features that they are building. This will mitigate sizable effects on the business should the project go south.
  4. Stay true to your values
    You know it’s true: data is really cool, and you can do a lot of innovative things with it. But before taking on a project, ensure that it aligns with your organization’s mission and values. Before you begin investing time and resources on a project, determine how the intended product or feature fits into your current portfolio and how it fits in with your brand. If it’s a good match, think about the scope of the project and whether it would be better suited for your traditional IT or agile IT team.

You don’t have to sacrifice speed or standards to be innovative. By embracing a two-speed paradigm within your organization, you can start leveraging your data as an asset while upholding the values that make your company unique. Remember, innovation doesn’t happen on its own, but it’s a whole lot easier when you have the right people, processes, and technology in place.

If you’re ready to start using your data as a strategic business asset, let Experian Pandora be your ticket to success.

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