Data Fragmentation Is CDOs’ Top Challenge in 2022

Last Published: Dec 09, 2021 |
Susan Wilson
Susan Wilson

GVP North America Solutions Leader 

How Data Leadership Drives Digital Leadership

What is top of mind for today’s CDOs? To find out, we partnered with IDC to survey organizations around the globe.

The IDC Global Chief Data Officer (CDO) Engagement Survey 20211sponsored by Informatica reveals that high levels of data fragmentation are forcing 37% of data leaders to spend most of their time grappling with data complexity rather than driving true transformation with that data. And more than 25% of organizations surveyed must contend with anywhere from 1,000 to 9,999 data sources – with 4% having to manage more than 10,000 data sources.

This complexity of data management and control makes it difficult for data leaders to move beyond day-to-day management activities. Conversely, organizations with mature data management generate up to 250% more business value from their data than companies with less data maturity. How do they achieve that? Let’s see what the study shows.

The Key to True Digital Transformation

The digital transformation of an enterprise involves four foundational pillars:

  1. It is about offering new, innovative products and services to your customers.
  2. It entails envisioning new engagement models for customers, both current and new.
  3. It also means creating new operating models to get these products and services and new customer experiences to market.
  4. And then of course, to bring it all together, digital transformation is about inventing new business models to take advantage of all these innovations.

To succeed with digital transformation, organizations need to first manage and govern their data. The report found a high correlation between data management maturity and digital maturity.

Data management maturity was measured by aggregating responses to questions about the current state of data, technology, architecture, and organization. IDC identified four levels of maturity:

  • Reactive organizations are impacted the most by fragmentation and complexity
  • Opportunistic organizations are more proactive but are not repeating success in complex environments
  • Repeatable organizations are successful in leveraging data, but fragmentation inhibits progress
  • Optimized organizations are the most mature in how fragmentation and complexity are managed

The survey found that Optimized data management organizations are twice as likely as Reactive organizations to be well underway or at the end of their digital transformation journey, demonstrating that improving data leadership improves digital leadership.

Four Things Data Leaders Do Differently

The survey also shows what organizations with high data management maturity do differently to help them accelerate digital transformation.

  • Design – Success with digital transformation requires a data architectural layer that is designed to address the collection, storage, and use of data in multi-cloud and hybrid environments. According to the survey, Optimized data management organizations are 13.5 times more likely than Reactive organizations to have designed a complete data architecture, such as a data fabric or mesh.
  • Simplify – Implementing point solution after point solution leads to increasing complexity and saddles you with the technical debt of managing the integrations between solutions. Only 6% of organizations surveyed have been able to reduce technical debt by standardizing across all data management functions. Optimized organizations are 1.5 times more likely to have standardized all data management capabilities across the organization, which simplifies the implementation of data architecture.
  • Automate – The number of data sources and the volume of data continue to grow. A revised model of IDC’s Global DataSphere Forecast shows that global data creation and replication will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% over the 2020–2025 forecast period.2 The automation of data management activities is critical to driving broad and consistent use of data for digital transformation. Optimized organizations are 3.7 times more likely to have operationalized AI for data management across the organization, which increases data availability and consumption.
  • ScaleCloud-native services enable you to quickly and easily allocate resources to scale data management services to meet changing demands. Optimized organizations are 105 times more likely to have 80% or more of their data management capabilities in the cloud, which increases scalability and agility of services.

How To Accelerate Your Data Leadership in 2022

  • Create a data strategy that maps data, analytics, and processes to business outcomes, then overlay required technical capabilities to help you design your data architecture. A strong data strategy and architecture helps you speed deployment, minimize delivery risk, reduce cost of ownership, and increase return on investment.
  • Evaluate your current capabilities against your data architecture and do some gap analysis. Look for opportunities to expand the depth and breadth of functionality, while reducing complexity by consolidating point solutions and improving integration. Also evaluate how pricing models impact your ability to easily switch between capabilities as your requirements change over time.
  • Look for ways to increase productivity by automating manual tasks and augmenting human activity with recommendations and insights. Determine opportunities to use AI and metadata for data discovery, cataloging, integration, cleansing, mastering, governance, and sharing.
  • Use modern cloud-native architecture principles such as microservices, containers, and serverless that enable you to benefit from the scalability, agility, and resiliency of cloud infrastructures. Ensure you can quickly and easily scale resources to meet changing demands without worrying about capacity planning and engineering for peak usage.

The Time to Accelerate Your Digital Transformation Is Now

We live in unprecedented times. This is an era of change, when digital transformation is accelerating across the globe. The winners and losers are defined in a matter of a few years, not decades anymore. And with your data as your strategic asset, the time is now to take this moment and champion change in your company. Each and every person in your organization is looking to data leaders like you to drive the data revolution.

To see how much more business value you can deliver with better data management and to get more insights from the study, download the 2021 CDO study.


1 IDC, Global Chief Data Officer (CDO) Engagement Survey 2021 Data Readout, Sponsored by Informatica, doc #US48079321, July 2021.

2 IDC , Worldwide Global DataSphere Forecast, 2021–2025: The World Keeps Creating More Data — Now, What Do We Do with It All? (Doc #US46410421, March 2021).

First Published: Dec 09, 2021