Data Leadership through Data Management Software

Attributes and Benefits of Data Management Software

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In my previous article, I reviewed the Key Attributes and Business Benefits of Data Management Software (DMS). The article touched on the enterprise challenges of data growth and storage proliferation in the context of constrained IT budgets. And that data management software has evolved as a solution to oversee, understand, and orchestrate data holistically across multiple storage tiers, platforms and locations. These solutions help organizations manage their current storage costs and plan for future needs through their data migration and analysis features.

Data monetization challenges

Managing data costs efficiently is not the only challenge organizations deal with these days. They also face pressure to monetize their data, that is, create new business insights, competitive advantages, and revenue opportunities from their data stores. The current generation of data management software solutions can help enterprises here as well.

In many ways, these complimentary goals of storage efficiency and data monetization have analogies to managing versus leading organizations.

As a general principle, management concerns itself with operating efficiently and effectively within its circle of responsibility. Leadership expands beyond the operational to the strategic, beyond managing value to creating value, and not just within its own circle, but outside its circle of responsibility.

Consider this 2013 Harvard Business Review article by Vineet Nayar on Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders. These three characteristics can be applied to Data Management Software to show how DMS solutions enable IT leaders to expand beyond goals of managing data costs to exercising leadership over their digital assets.

Counting value versus creating value. Managers count value; leaders focus on creating value. The analogy here is managing storage to save money versus data monetization to create value. Certainly DMS solutions help organizations manage their data costs by placing data on the right storage tiers for the right cost and performance. DMS solutions also empower IT organizations to create value through availing data to ML/AI applications for business intelligence and insights. Such insights lead to new ways to streamline business processes, create new revenue streams, or help differentiate products and services from competitors.

Circles of influence vs circles of power. Managers create circles of power while leaders create circles of influence. The analogy is that DMS solutions do extend a consistent management framework across multiple data stores. However, beyond this, DMS solutions enable IT leaders to build partnerships with other business leaders by helping them understand who is using their data and how they are using it. Such information and analysis can help business groups outside the IT department identify problem areas and improve their performance.

Leading people vs. managing work. Management consists of controlling resources to accomplish a goal; leadership refers to capabilities to contribute towards organizational successes. Certainly, DMS solutions help organizations manage data costs within budget, and assist in delivering performance and availability goals for their data. However, they also facilitate data leadership by making an organization’s data available to new data analysis and business intelligence applications. The resulting insights help business leaders discover new data-informed opportunities to accomplish larger organizational objectives.

Ultimately, data storage is a growing expense that IT departments must manage as cost efficiently as possible. DMS solutions provide the necessary insights and tools to manage data holistically across the organization to ensure data is on the right platform for the right level of performance and costs. More importantly, the current generation of data management solutions provide the opportunity for IT leaders to exercise data leadership, transforming data into a tactical and even strategic asset for creating new value across business units and the enterprise at large.

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