75% of UK businesses say Big Data will lead to better decision making

1383210_10151942637584645_91128780_nEMC continued its global Forum tour with the London leg taking place in Westminster this week. It was one of the most successful UK Forums to date, with sessions discussing topics from cyber security, to the importance of IT skill sets and the transition to the third platform. At the 1375704_10151942636354645_465753585_nUK Forum EMC also announced the findings of its new research Iooking into how businesses in the UK are adapting to and benefitting from the introduction of cloud computing, Big Data analytics and database automation.

The study surveyed over 450 business and IT management and executives to gain their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that Big Data and IT transformation – and their related skills – can present to their companies. 75% of them claimed big data had the potential to improve the quality of decision-making in their business. Nearly three quarters of the people questioned believe investing in technology is a strategic way of achieving its goals.

Businesses understand the need for the right skill set (big data in particular) and how they can maximise their opportunity to grow if they have the right people with the correct knowledge in place. Unfortunately half of companies feel they do not have the right skills and knowledge to complete business priorities successfully, and nearly three quarters of IT leaders believe it will be difficult to develop the right mix of skills to keep pace with technological developments.

So what is the call to action? Jeremy Burton, Executive Vice President, Product Operation and Marketing at EMC, said in his key note and later in a roundtable with Cancer Research UK and Lotus F1 Team representatives, that businesses need to take a step back from the term ‘big data’ and think about what it’s all means.

“It is not the physical size or amount of data, but rather the capability of it and what can be gained through real understanding and application of the data. Making the decision on how businesses are going to utilise the datasets is something that needs to be thought about”, said Burton

Michael Briggs, Head of Infrastructure at Cancer Research UK continued saying, “The intrinsic value of big data is what is important. How the data is organised to provide the company with innovative ideas and improved agility is vital.”

“Businesses should focus on how to bring their datasets together”, said Michael Taylor, Deputy IT/IS Director at Lotus F1 Team” The roles of individuals within the organisation are changing as employees will need to be able to understand more about data and be able to work with it. There is constant pressure from stakeholders and senior executives to ensure the business is moving forward. That is why it is so important to have the right skill sets across the business, from the IT department to the marketing team, to allow the company to grow.”

Throughout UK Forum, it was clear businesses needed to take a step back and look at what needs to be done within the organisation in order to give them the best chance to move forward. At the roundtable, Burton concludes that, “Business change will drive the development of IT – it is not about the device anymore, it is about the data.”

We’ve Struck Gold with The Prince’s Trust

Today we announced that we have become a Gold Patron of youth charity The Prince’s Trust, engaging in a number of initiatives to provide practical and financial support for the charity’s vital work with disadvantaged young people. As James Petter, Vice President and Managing Director for EMC in the UK and Ireland sums up, “We are delighted that EMC’s patronage of The Prince’s Trust has increased to Gold status, reflecting our ongoing and expanding commitments to the charity and its essential work. Social engagement is very important to us as a business and to our employees, and we are pleased to be able to increase our activities with an organisation that is globally recognised for its valued contribution to young people in the UK. It is a privilege to be associated with the opportunities and vital benefits that The Prince’s Trust continues to deliver, year on year.”

Founded in 1976 by HRH The Prince of Wales, The Prince’s Trust has helped over 750,000 disadvantaged young people to develop the confidence and skills to find a job. Every day, The Trust supports 100 more young people, with three out of four moving into work, education or training.

This year, one particular project which is close to our hearts is The Prince’s Trust’s Million Makers national competition, in which teams of employees and university students are challenged to come together and raise £1 million for The Trust and make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people across the UK. We’re looking forward to seeing more success stories from the project as the year goes on.

As Martina Milburn CBE, Chief Executive, The Prince’s Trust says, “Youth unemployment remains high, and many young people – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – feel hopeless about the future. However, with support from organisations like EMC, The Prince’s Trust is able to help thousands of these young people to re-build their confidence and gain vital skills and experience for work.”

It’s safe to say we’re thrilled to be able to continue our support for such a great cause.

EMC Leader 2020 report investigates UK CXO views on risk, innovation & technology

infographicDespite the IMF forecasting an increase in the UK’s GDP by1.4% this year and 1.9% in 2014, it is clear from the CEOs we speak to that today’s climate is anything but comfortable. Many of us are seeing our markets disrupted by regulation, consolidation or technology, and are undergoing substantial change in order to keep or grow our market position. For the past five years, these efforts have been played out against a backdrop of zero growth and austerity.

With this in mind, this week were are launching a major report named EMC Leader 2020, which reviews the business leader’s approach to risk, innovation and technology; now and looking ahead to the future, in order to help company leaders change and grow UK businesses that meet the challenges of new entrants and overseas competitors.

The study found:

  • Despite two thirds of respondents reporting widespread market disruption, analysis paralysis (a significant focus on consensus, analysis and data gathering that slows the decision making process) was an issue for 99% of large businesses’ leadership teams
  • Over three quarters of CXOs (78%) think the senior management team has a conservative approach to implementing major change, with almost half (48%) expecting risk aversion to rise in the next five years
  • There is limited consensus on the best approach to innovation; respondents used a variety of means including external training for individuals (40%), staff incentives (38%) and sponsors of innovation at a board-level (38%).
  • There is a shortfall in CXO skills on technology. Almost all UK business leaders (91%) agreed that a better understanding of technology within the senior management team was important for future growth. Half agreed that the senior management team is rooted in the past when it comes to their grasp of technology, and yet fewer than half (47%) are building technology skills into succession planning and making it a requirement for recruitment (39%).

The report has been put together from direct insights from senior management and C-suite contributors including the European School of Management and Technology, Arup and Interserve and beyond, and research of 200 non IT C-level/director and business managers of large private and publicly-listed companies.

EMC Leader2020 uncovers key insights and approaches that can – if not provide a blueprint for success with innovation and change – at least inspire business leaders into taking a different perspective on their structures, processes and planning to ensure long-term market leadership and success.

The report concludes:

There’s no single formula for success. Instead complexity and challenge will continue to be core components of the everyday reality of business over the next decade. The leaders in a business have a responsibility to serve their organisation with the structures, processes and crucially in instilling a culture which supports change at the most fundamental level.

The full report can be found here – http://uk.emc.com/leader2020. Let us know your thoughts using #EMCLeader2020 or leave a comment on the blog below.

Why attend EMC Forum? Our Top 5 Reasons

EMC Forum London is due to take place on the October 21st 2013 and while you may know a bit about it already, now may be a good time to have a quick recap on the top five reasons to attend.

ONE – Our keynote speaker is Jeremy Burton, Executive Vice President, Product Operations and Marketing at EMC. His role within our company affords him a distinct perspective into what it takes to be a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. This will be a fantastic opportunity to gain insight into the industry that few would ever have access to.

TWO – At this year’s event you will also be able to take a look inside the next generation of IT architecture – the software-defined data centre. It is a term that has recently risen to prominence as an IT facility which leverages the power and virtualisation to provide infrastructure as a service.

THREE – Cutting cost and complexity is an important area for any business to address. This is no less true for dealing with data centres. By examining real-world case studies and best practice, we will provide you with information on the best strategy for your business in handling this ever present issue.

FOUR – We will also be demonstrating our latest technological innovations and you will be able to get hands-on in our V-labs, get to grips with the products and services which EMC a market leader and see first-hand and find out why it stands out from the competition.

FIVE – A final key reason is the potential to network with other attendees, some who will have similar experiences and questions, others from completely different industries and with answers that you may not otherwise hear from anyone else. It is a unique coming together of a range of skills and talents that few would fail to benefit from.

To find out how you can lead your company’s IT and business transformation at EMC Forum. Register now http://emc.im/Forum2013UK