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Needed: Comprehensive data strategy to drive growth and innovation

By Adam Freill   

Construction Equipment Technology Leadership

New survey from Microsoft Canada reveals business gap in data collection and application of insights.


Two-thirds of Canadian business leaders say that knowing how to draw actionable insights from data is a key to business success in today’s economy, but only one-third report having a comprehensive data strategy in place. Even fewer, 31 per cent, feel their organization is a data-led business.

Findings from a new survey by Microsoft Canada reveal a significant gap between what business leaders say they need for success and what they’re doing to achieve it.

For instance, while 71 per cent of those surveyed say their company is either on par within the industry or a leader in its level of digital sophistication, only four out of 10 say their organization currently uses the cloud. This, despite near-consensus across global consulting firms that the cloud is critical to meet the demands of a modern business.

In a recent study, Deloitte found that cloud adoption is a competitive necessity in today’s economy. Along with low cloud adoption, only a few respondents (34 per cent) from Microsoft’s research indicate that making better use of the data they have will be a priority for their organization in the coming year.


“Data has become the most valuable currency for organizations in a digital, cloud-first world,” said Kevin Peesker, president of Microsoft Canada. “Regardless of the size or type of organization, leveraging AI, data and analytics is crucial for Canadian organizations to foster innovation, deliver on evolving customer demands and ultimately stay competitive in the global economy as we continue to recover from the pandemic.”

While nearly half (46 per cent) of survey respondents say their organization aims to become more data-savvy, only 34 per cent currently use data analytics tools or services. Further, of those not using data analytics tools or services, fewer than a fifth (18 per cent) have any plans to adopt such tools in 2022.

“What the findings reveal when it comes to how most business leaders prioritize data as part of their digital strategy is alarming,” says Peesker.

Last March, Microsoft announced the creation of the Data Innovation Centre of Excellence (DICE) as part of its new Toronto headquarters. DICE aims to help Canadian private, public and non-profit organizations harness the power of data and cloud technology to accelerate their digital transformation and co-innovate on cutting-edge solutions.

“Organizations that are using their own data to implement solutions tailored to their specific needs, may not only bolster business resilience but also improve operations and become more responsive to evolving citizen and customer demands,” said Peesker. “With DICE, we’re empowering organizations to take advantage of the data they create to develop comprehensive strategies that solve some of their most pressing business challenges and accelerate growth.”





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