Report reveals where IT and Line of Business goals clash

If businesses want to build a comprehensive data management strategy that advances business objectives, they need to resolve certain points of friction, according to a survey from Cloudera and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

As organizations move to the cloud, their lines of business are anxious to put their data to work. Their business motivations, however, aren't always in sync with IT priorities. That conflict becomes apparent in a new survey of global executives, commissioned by Cloudera and conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. 

The vast majority of respondents (73 percent) believe that their data resources hold the key to creating business value, the survey found — including 33 percent who give it the highest possible rating. Similarly, 69 percent said their organization should have a comprehensive data strategy in order to meet its strategic goals. 

However, only 35 percent say their organization's analytics and data management capabilities are on course to meet those goals. 


"The biggest reason for the gap is that the line of business inside most large enterprises -- they have the need for speed," Cloudera CMO Mick Hollison said to ZDNet. "They want to move incredibly rapidly and spur growth inside the business." 

IT teams, meanwhile, are obligated to secure and govern all of the data. "That pits Line of Business and IT against one another from time to time," Hollison said. 

Cloudera commissioned this survey because, like its customers, it's embracing multi-cloud, hybrid solutions. Following last year's acquisition of Hortonworks, Cloudera next week plans to unveil the Cloudera Data Platform -- what the company is billing as the industry's first "enterprise data cloud" for data that resides anywhere. Ahead of this rollout, Cloudera was looking for more insight into the ways the enterprise perceives the changing cloud landscape, Hollison said. 

Harvard Business Review Analytic Services surveyed 185 global business executives representing a wide range of industries, with almost half from organizations with $1 billion or more in revenue.

Hollison said it was a surprise to learn how many organizations are already embracing multi-cloud strategies, Hollison said. As many as 54 percent of the organizations surveyed have plans to increase the amount of data they store in the public cloud over the next year, while 51 percent said they have plans to leverage multiple cloud providers. 

Meanwhile, most organizations are leveraging their data to support traditional functions like business intelligence (80 percent) and data warehousing (70 percent). Nearly half, 49 percent, plan to build machine learning and AI capabilities over the next three years. 

That interest in AI is "harbinger of good things to come" for Cloudera, Hollison said, given the company's series of AI-related investments. That includes its acquisition of Fast Forward Labs, the acquisition of Sense.io and more recently its acquisition of Arcadia Data

Security and regulatory compliance are two of the biggest challenges organizations have encountered with cloud services, the survey confirms. Forty-two percent say security is a concern, while 35 percent say the same about regulatory compliance. Meanwhile, 10 percent of those surveyed did not even know if they were required to secure data within a regulatory framework or not. 

Cloudera also highlighted the need for open solutions. Roughly one in eight survey respondents said that the risk of vendor lock-in has prevented them from making greater use of the public cloud.

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