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Monetizing With Big Data Services

4 Apr 2016 by Howard M Cohen

Data. If you accept that data has value, then big data has even more value. But the growth in value is hardly proportionate. The more data a company collects and the more data points it has to feed an analysis, the more likely it is that greater insights and value can be extracted from the data.

The great news for IT service providers seeking the next direction for their business is that companies have only begun to find the value in their data, and many are struggling to begin doing so.

“The trend to see and use information as an asset is still in the 'early adoption' phase, making doing so a competitive differentiator for leading organizations. But even where information leaders have embraced this idea, there's an array of challenges to transform the idea of value into a reality that benefits the organization. Information has economic value that organizations can 'turn into money' in two ways: selling, bartering or licensing it; and by using it to reduce costs or increase revenue. Yet most information and business leaders lack the experience and tools to monetize information,” according to Gartner’s report, “Seven Steps to Monetizing Your Information Assets,” published October 2015.

For years, many IT service providers have been helping their customers drive new profits using data and data management. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have brought deeper insight into inventory turns, customer buying patterns, comparative product demand and more. Companies have used this insight to stock the right products in the right places at the right times. Other industries have used service frequency and utilization data, manufacturing data and much more.

Now, though, thanks to the explosive growth in the number of devices that are collecting data points, we are generating unheralded volumes of data. Hidden in that data are much deeper insights that we can both use and sell.

There’s gold in those storage devices.

In the past, most technologies have seen first adoption by end-user customers. As these customers begin to find managing and maintaining the technology burdensome, they seek out IT service providers who can manage these functions.

Since only a few are using data to benefit, IT service providers have an unparalleled opportunity to get in front of the opportunity. With many service providers trying to determine how to replace the infrastructure-related business they’ve lost to “the cloud,” information monetization represents an opportunity to provide services that deliver substantial value to the customer’s bottom line in the form of new revenue generated by existing assets.

Information makes money in motion.

Information generates maximum revenue when it moves from place to place. Selling data directly to someone else is the purest example of this. Moving the data from you to them creates the transaction that generates the revenue. Information about available flights creates the opportunity for a traveler to book a flight. Information about products appearing on a website may prompt a purchase. Information flowing from a flight tower to an airliner in a storm will help safely land the plane and all its passengers. How does an IT service provider help their customers put information into motion?

Use Information Monetization as a Service (IMaaS).

As you read through the Gartner report, you’ll find the seven steps promised in the title. Looking at a few of them from a service provider’s perspective:

1. Establish an information product management function. Become your customer’s Chief Data Officer (CDO), just as many service providers have become their customers’ proxy CIO in the past. Offer an engagement in which you and your team provide all the data collection, collation and analysis to help your customers package information products for sale to their clients.

2. Inventory the available information assets. Once engaged, your first task will be to inventory, categorize and assign base value to each data asset your customer owns. Be sure to include all data types suggested by Gartner in the report.                                                               

3. Adapt high-value monetization ideas from other industries. As with so many things in the past, the more you engage to monetize information for your customers, the more you’ll learn about new and innovative ways to do this. As suggested by Gartner, study how various industries are working to monetize their data, and use these ideas to fuel your own innovations.

Download Gartner’s report, “Seven Steps to Monetizing Your Information Assets,” to read the other ways to turn data into profit for you and your customers. Contact us at1.800.INSIGHT for help identifying and obtaining all of the skills required to enter into this new data-centered space.