“All companies become data companies.”

At this year’s RSM leadership summit a huge emphasis was placed on big data and its influence on companies from different markets. The first speakers were Ulla Kruhse-Lethonen and Riikka Turunen from Sanoma. They stated that data has become a differentiating factor and a core asset for consumer companies and feel as if data is the glue between customers and companies.  This presentation made me think about the necessity of data integration for the firm’s ability to compete these days.

Many researchers argue that it is crucial nowadays to integrate IT in your strategy in order for you to reach your customers. Currently, most companies have at least one social network on which they try, not always successfully, connect with its customers. Not only is information strategy and business strategy alignment important to reach your customer, it can be a very valuable source for customer data collection. The figure below shows that 50.4% of the companies worldwide are already using mobile apps for collecting customer data. However, the most striking result is that this number is expected to increase to 93.2% within 6 years.

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This research thus shows that almost all companies will integrate IT in their business model at one point in time.

Still I think it hard to believe that all companies will integrate IT at some point. What about smaller retailers or restaurants. Is it feasible for them to integrate expensive information strategies into their business or will they survive without this effort? According to Phil Simon using Big Data is no longer a mission impossible, even for small companies. Innovations like cloud computing, open-source software, and software as a service has changed the investment costs for companies in general. Hence enabling even small companies to profit from the huge advantages that data brings (Newman, 2014). So what do you think, will all companies eventually become data companies?





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