Extracting and leveraging value from data goes far beyond harnessing technology. You need an advanced organization and culture that gives people the freedom to create in a loose, flexible and agile way. A lot of organizations with big multi-million dollar waterfall IT systems have built bureaucracies to squash that kind of creative freedom—because failure with a legacy system is expensive. Today, with agile, modular approaches, failure is cheap, and a key part of the creative process.
In the old days, IT departments used to build systems. The IT guys were critical, like medieval monks who could read and write, because only they understood the thousands of lines of code. Today, IT departments buy components and integrate them. But there’s no competitive advantage to buying standard, off-the-shelf components. Furthermore, static, standalone solutions can be expensive, hard to integrate, and can lock in mediocre capabilities.
Today, powerful open source building blocks can be rearranged to remake everything, from free-wheeling apps to even system architecture, making the previously complex simple and fast. That ability frees you from the calculation that it’s too time-consuming or expensive to build and maintain the capabilities to truly differentiate yourself from competitors. Once you know that failure is cheap and fast, you are free to create and transform and leverage data for insights. And to make failure a stepping stone to success.