Data Is the New Supply Chain: Learn the Current Methods, Risk Management

Written by on October 22, 2012 in Press & Events

Silicon Angle 10/22/12 -

DAMA International, the global association of professionals in data management, states that “Data Resource Management is the development and execution of architectures, policies, practices and procedures that properly manage the full data lifecycle needs of an enterprise.” In today’s information driven world, the data needs of an enterprise are very important. Some enterprises are built around providing information to external customers, and others have information of value that is used only with internal customers. In either case, the way data is managed is of great importance. While traditionally an internal IT department is responsible for this data management, now there are enterprises looking at external vendors to provide this management via cloud computing.

In a sit down conversation with Izenda founder and CEO Sanjay Bhatia, we had the opportunity to discuss several topics including cloud computing, cloud vendors, ad hoc reporting, and IT infrastructure. When discussing the direction of data management and cloud vendors, Bhatia noted that it is about “survival of the swiftest”. When an enterprise is seeking the best way to manage their data, the speed that the data can be provided is key. That speed can translate into profit for an enterprise whether it is because it provided an external customer some timely information, or it provided an internal alert to make enterprise operations more efficient.

So what is the common method used by enterprises to manage their data currently?

Current Data Management Methods

Most enterprises utilize various applications that run on their database to manage data. The applications are usually geared towards the various departments and needs of the organization. So there would be applications used by accounting, marketing, human resources, operations, and other parts of an organization to fulfill their role in driving efficiency internally and increasing profitability. While it is great for each facet of business to have a tool geared towards their function, what value would the data they collect and generate add to another part of the company? Can that data be shared with another application that runs on the same database?

Data has always been a supply chain

Often times the communication between the applications within an organization is limited. If that communication is opened and data is made freely available within an enterprise, then a data supply chain is being formed. According to Frank Artale, Managing Director at Ignition Ventures, “Data has always been a supply chain. Now it is just being acknowledged as such since the depth and breadth of the data combined with technologies to enable analysis can be made available to the hands of the business owners and decision makers.”

A supply chain consists of all parties involved, directly or indirectly, in fulfilling a customer request.  The supply chain not only includes the manufacturer and suppliers, but also transporters, warehouses, retailers, and customers themselves.  Within each organization, such as manufacturer, the supply chain includes all functions involved in receiving and filling a customer request.

That is defining a physical supply chain, but the same concept can be applied to data management. With multiple applications serving as the manufacturers and suppliers generating a data stream within an enterprise, you can see how a supply chain approach would be beneficial. Once these streams are linked to a common pipeline with ease of flow, the data instantly becomes an item of value to all that are tapped into that pipeline.

The decision makers within an enterprise will be able to see the internal workings better, and in turn be able to determine areas of improvement to increase efficiency. If an enterprise functions as an information provider to external customers, the supply chain will mean more information on hand for their access. Not only will a supply chain management approach create more efficiency for an enterprise with their existing data, it will also allow for growth.

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