Recently I participated in a webinar panel with IT and marketing leaders on building alignment between the CIO and CMO, and surprisingly every speaker agreed: most of us are there or well on our way. The next frontier is building a collaboration-centric culture across the company, and data is the place you start.
Just about every business function now needs to collect, connect and visualize data in order to better measure outcomes and prove results. Now one of the defining factors to sustaining a competitive advantage, data is also the most promising area your company can focus on to build bridges, dissolve siloes and see better business results.
Data Waste Is the Common Enemy
Nothing unites disconnected teams like a common enemy, and data waste is a common challenge across the organization. Everyone’s trying to find the best ways to capture, filter or seamlessly integrate data in order to turn the deluge of information into strategic business insights.
It’s in undefined areas of business like data that cross-functional partnerships will flourish. Systems, processes and ownership of data are still in development, and this uncharted territory creates fresh opportunities for every department to collaborate and create them together.
Data Binds Departments Together
One of the most important things you need for alignment between any set of departments is a shared goal, but at the end of the day, every department is accountable for completely different quotas, objectives, budgets and responsibilities. What does stay constant across most lines of business is the pressure to innovate—to do the job faster or with better results—and that’s why data is now the key element that binds us together.
Data is the deciding factor on whether our ideas and technologies we test are good or whether we need to keep searching. No one can effectively make that determination without a data analysis and that information often lies beyond the walls of your own department.
Data Implants IT into Every Conversation
Customer-centric, data-driven companies (which, let’s face it, most of us either are or are trying to be) increasingly rely on data to predict, plan, execute, analyze and support everything. This transforms one of the historically most siloed teams—IT—into frontline collaborators.
IT isn’t just a gatekeeper or mediator of data but is now an expert consultant to departments on how to best leverage data. IT no longer simply provides access to data but explains the possibilities, which evolves the perception of IT from a technology enabler to a truly valued collaborator in departmental strategies.
Companies that solve their Big Data challenges will be the leaders in building collaboration-centric cultures, but data is just one of many changing business collaboration trends that could leave your business vulnerable to digital disruption.
For more technology trends impacting the workplace, download our free eBook “The Future of Business Collaboration: 2016 Edition” today.
This post originally appeared on CIO.com’s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi.