Information Innovation Key Initiative Overview

Archived Published: 22 April 2014 ID: G00262973


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Information plays a direct role in business success. New data sources offer great opportunities as well as great risks for enterprises. Gartner's information innovation research will help clients devise an effective strategy.


Figure 1. Information Innovation
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (April 2014)

Information innovation focuses on creative strategies for using the growing number of new data sources to leap ahead in operational or business performance.

The enterprise can succeed or fail based on how it responds to:

  • Big data

  • Social media

  • Cloud computing

  • Mobile

  • The Internet of Things

  • Machine data

  • Personal analytics

  • Open, syndicated and other external data sources

To meet the business's need for better data to make fact-based decisions, information strategists must exploit these data sources through creative thinking as well as new technologies (see Figure 1). Innovative techniques can support new business models that yield competitive advantages. Success requires the IT organization to understand the business requirements for new information and how it can affect measurable business outcomes and drive innovation. At the same time, information demand can quickly outstrip the IT organization's ability to deliver. The increasing volume, variety and velocity of information will overwhelm familiar disciplines for accessing, storing, managing, analyzing, governing, presenting, collaborating on and sharing information. The IT organization must develop an iterative information strategy to guide its response to business requirements for information. Gartner's research will help CIOs, chief data officers, information leaders and enterprise architects develop such an information strategy.

Consider These Factors to Determine Your Readiness

Innovation through information can give the enterprise an enduring competitive advantage if enterprises prepare. Enterprises should:

  • Understand business needs and the impact of better information on business outcomes.

  • Help the business understand what is possible with less expensive technologies, and technologies to manage and analyze new information types (such as text and video).

  • Revise information disciplines (including information governance) to keep up with the new pace and scope of information demands.

  • Create an information strategy to guide continuous improvement.

Geographical Variances

Information innovation will affect all industries in all geographies.

Strategic Planning Assumptions

  • By 2016, 30% of businesses will have begun directly or indirectly making money from their information assets via bartering or selling them outright.

  • Through 2016, 25% of organizations using consumer data will face reputation damage due to inadequate understanding of information trust issues.

  • By 2016, excessive focus on truth over trust in big data will prompt leadership changes in 75% of projects.

  • Through 2017, 90% of the information assets from big data analytic efforts will be siloed and unleverageable across multiple business processes.

  • By 2017, 33% of major global companies will experience a crisis due to their inability to adequately value, govern and trust their enterprise information.

Technology Providers

Information innovation will require using a combination of vendors, including software megavendors; small, leading-edge vendors; and open-source providers. Some of these providers are:

  • IBM provides predictive analytics, social and content analytics, and the Watson cognitive computing platform.

  • SAP's KXEN platform has core products to support the data mining process and additional products for social network analysis, marketing optimization and model management.

  • The Apache Software Foundation provides more than a dozen open-source components for big data projects, notably Hadoop and MapReduce.

  • Emcien offers pattern detection software that automatically discovers and helps explore and visualize hidden connections in data without having to know its structure.

  • Omnivex's dynamic digital signage platform provides for visible, interactive and reactive displays and dashboards that can mashup an enterprise's information assets with external data.

  • Neustar provides real-time, cloud-based information services and analytics that curate demographic, behavioral and other data that can be integrated with an organization's own data to generate complete portraits of customers and prospects.

Conduct Your Information Innovation Strategy Using This Structured Approach

Enterprises should plan information innovation initiatives using three organizing principles:

  • Concepts Defined: Survey the range of data sources available, and determine how they can be used to improve decision making, business insights and process automation.

  • Implications and Scenario: Create a more info-centric and info-ethical culture in your organization. Inventory, measure and quantify your information assets. Use the information's value to gauge the ROI of information-related IT and business initiatives.

  • Technologies and Vendors: Use models, such as Gartner's Information Capabilities Framework and Business Analytics Framework, as guides to building and buying the technologies you need for a solution to execute your information strategy.

© 2014 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

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