Last Wednesday, Netpremacy ran a closed roundtable where we brought together data decision-makers from the Finance Industry. Heads of Data, Directors of Data, Heads of IT and Chief Data Officers came together, along with our Partners Looker and Google Cloud. We discussed challenges the financial sector faces around data analysis and moving to the cloud and explored ways to help solve them. Here are the key questions we explored:
How do I get buy-in from other business stakeholders for moving our data to the cloud?
“Start with a strong plan”, recommends Tom Anderson, Technical Consultant at Netpremacy. “Really think about what you need in the cloud, as it is different for every business. You don’t always have to start with a ‘big bang’ (learn more about staged cloud adoption here). You may want to harness data analytics capabilities, scale at speed, or improve your data protection. By taking small steps and delivering Proof of Concepts along the way, you can prove yourself in the business and start to build the momentum you need to reimagine your business in the cloud.”
Security is key for us, so how can Google provide reassurance that this is a safer option than on-prem?
Realistically, how much can your organisation afford to spend (time, money and testing) on security in comparison to Google? Is your data really more secure on-premises than in the cloud? It will be part of your role as a data leader in the business to reassure others, but Google Cloud can provide plenty of documentation, case studies and advice to help you. One attendee also suggested this is a key area to bring in experts that can help you with penetration testing and making sure you have all the right foundations in place.
How can I change the business culture to be more data-savvy?
Ensure everyone in the business understands the value of data and the benefits they’ll enjoy by using the tools and processes you implement. One of the top tips from Looker is to identify frequently asked questions from your data team and focus on answering those first, as they’re clearly the ones the business needs. By using a data analytics tool like Looker, you can empower business users to answer questions they have about data themselves rather than relying on the data team – encouraging more data-driven decisions. If more people can take ownership of data, you can start to grow an appreciation for what can be done with data. This way, you will have business and tech leaders working together, hand in hand. Businesses getting ahead are those where the membrane between business and technology teams is dissolving.
Sounds good in practice, but what about the reality?
It’s all well and good for technical companies or cloud-first FinTechs, where there’s some expectation of non-technical users to use no-code or low-code solutions, but what about established businesses with even more established spreadsheets? James Tromans, Technical Director, Office of the CTO at Google Cloud has plenty of experience with ‘the spreadsheet issue’. “Show, don’t tell”, he advised, “find something their spreadsheet can’t currently do that your solution can. Once they start to see what’s possible, their imagination will ignite and they’ll soon be on board.”
It was interesting to hear the challenges these key players face when contrasted against some of their younger FinTech competitors’ that we discussed back at our roundtable in April (read more here). Despite the differences, the main challenge they both face is cultural change. It is now a test for technologists within any business to take up more of an evangelist role and continually prove themselves. If this is something you are struggling with, we recommend seeking help from an experienced partner with plenty of experience advocating for technical change. Businesses such as Google and Looker can further help you make your case with key documentation and use cases from the industry.
Speak with the Experts
At Netpremacy, we have extensive knowledge and experience in helping organisations on their cloud journey, whether that’s on a consultative basis or delivering an innovative transformation to your business. If you’d like to get more from your data, our team of data engineers and infrastructure specialists can help. Our decade of experience in change management means that you’re in safe hands to make the cultural shift needed to change your organisation. Contact us for an initial conversation on your data strategy to start doing things differently.
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