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    « The Employer Brand, New and Improved (if it exists at all) | Main | Hate your Job? Maybe being a little foolish is the best advice to take »

    Need better information for business decisions? It might not be a technology problem

    Recently the MIT Sloan Management Review in partnership with the IBM Institute for Business Value released some preliminary results from a project called 'The New Intelligent Enterprise'. The MIT and IBM researchers conducted an inquiry into how organizations are using analytics for competitive business advantage. The study was comprised of a survey of more than 4,000 executives, managers and analysts from around the world and across a wide range of industries.

    Understanding how peers and competitors are leveraging analytics and new tools and technologies to increase competitiveness and make better business decisions has long been a concern of leaders across the organization, certainly in process-heavy aspects of the business like supply chain management, but increasingly in the Human Capital Management space as well. And while there are lots of tools and solutions that are on the market that can help organizations in these efforts to better capture and assess analytical data, some of the MIT/IBM study results suggest focusing on the technology alone may be a mistake.

    While the full report and analysis of the research findings are still to be released, several of the study's raw data points were shared by the researchers, and I think the most interesting results were the first and last chart from the piece on Sloan Review site:

    Figure 1 - Access to Data Needs Improvement

    Source - MIT/IBM

    Nice. Most of your key players, the ones you are counting on to make the right decisions, and make them quickly, and often under pressure probably don't have easy access to all the information they need. and almost 20% claim limited or no access to the data they need to success. Ouch. But you know that right? And that's why you are trolling the web, attending webinars, talking to consultants, and hitting the trade shows to find a software solution to address this problem. Sounds simple, get the right tools in, get them in the hands of the right people, and bam! - problem solved.

    Except it might not be that easy.

    Figure 2 - Technology is not the problem

    Source - MIT/IBM

    This chart is a little busy, but essentially says that when considering the deployment of better analytics solutions in the enterprise, the survey respondents felt organizational and company culture issues were perceived to be twice as hard to resolve as technology issues. Or perhaps said differently, finding and purchasing a technology solution might only 'solve' about a third of the overall problem.

    Perhaps not ground-breaking findings, but worth remembering no matter what workplace technology solutions we try to apply to help solve business problems. We can recognize we have a problem, buy a solution to address the problem, but until and only when the organization is committed to making the kinds of important changes that these projects often require, we will not realize the full potential of the technologies and more importantly, of our people.

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    Reader Comments (1)

    very well quoted figures i think MIT and Ibm researchers have done a good job.
    business phone providers

    September 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrayjohn1

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