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If you think about it as ones and zeros, soulless spreadsheets, forms and figures, probably not. But what if data could help make cancer and world hunger subjects that kids only learn about in history lessons a decade from now? What if it powered technology that understood our needs and worked proactively to meet them? What if it drove tools that become an extension of us; augmenting our abilities, and empowering us to do more and achieve more than we ever thought possible, at work and at home?

Would you be excited about data then?

While dull and lifeless in its everyday form, the data that surrounds all of us has the power to surprise, delight and deliver results every day, if harnessed in the right way. As part of the fourth industrial revolution we now find ourselves in, the power of technology is increasing exponentially, and so are the possibilities. Through cloud computing, the Internet of Things, AI and beyond, today’s technology enables us to go further, faster. By pooling data from multiple sources—be it connected devices, sales figures, GPS tracking or social media, it helps us to understand and act on evolving customer and end user behaviour; finding the best ways to sell, learn, and provide engagement and entertainment.

From simple tweaks and time-savers in our everyday lives, to business-critical solutions that add value for customers and employees, all the way to solving the biggest challenges faced by society and humanity; the democratisation of data and digital transformation has the power to help us all reach for the stars.

For businesses, it’s no longer the case that the smallest are crushed or the largest prevail. Rather, it is those that innovate and rethink that succeed. By embracing cloud technology and intelligent business apps, you can truly elevate your business operations. Putting dormant data to work, you can get to know your business better than you ever have before, shedding light on how it operates and the desires of your customers, and calculating routes to enhanced efficiency and reduced costs.

We can no longer afford to take a risk-averse, legacy-minded approach to business that blinds us to opportunity and limits our vision. Across industries, digital transformation is providing agility and competitive advantage; bringing organisations together, connecting processes, people and ideas, and driving innovation, customer satisfaction and growth. Data, front and back office workflows, devices, equipment, remote workers and global teams can all be connected and work in harmony, helping you to focus on the future and what’s best for your business.

Whether it’s expanding into new markets faster by using AI and video conferencing to translate multiple languages in real time, providing augmented reality shopping experiences to customers, or benefitting from equipment that tells you when it’s about to fail or needs to be replaced, digital transformation is changing our world. And business owners and employees must embrace this new normal in order to mount a challenge, helping people and processes to adapt and establish new value propositions and competitive advantage. With the right skills, the right infrastructure and the right culture, the benefits are infinite.

Digital Transformation will bring an end to the product recall, with enhanced visibility and analytics enabling businesses to identify a single faulty item on a shelf, rather than simply the batch or shipment it came from. It can provide more personalised interactions with customers and better inform retail staff, delivering a superior consumer experience. It will enable mass production, from cars to couches, to be uniquely configured by consumers while retaining the same price point and lead time. And it can unlock insight into your supply chain, helping you spot trends, avoid disruption and reduce costs on a global scale.

Safely stored in the cloud, compliant and protected by best-in-class security: your data, and the tools you use to harness it, can truly empower your business. By investing in and developing new technologies, you have the chance to enhance the productivity of your people and better understand your customers in a dynamic digital economy, paving the way for new and exciting experiences that deliver tangible and often game-changing results.

Now, imagine these opportunities for innovation, transformation and growth for your business, and ask yourself again… Do you get excited about data?

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