From Centres of Excellence to Decentralised Data Teams, and Back Again

black and silver chess pieces on black tray

Where is Your Business on the Pendulum Swing?

Every time a business considers whether to centralise or decentralise its data operations, it feels like a critical, even permanent direction-setting decision. Yet the truth is, organisations are caught in a relentless cycle that includes repeated shifts between ‘Centres of Excellence’ and decentralised data teams, often exacerbated by the lure of offshore outsourcing. As part of that pattern, they also swing between insourcing and outsourcing their data capabilities and workflows.

If your business is the pendulum, where is it currently at in this swinging pattern? Has your company repeated this pattern?

Taking a step back to examine the impact to a business over the longer term, this back-and-forth creates considerable disruption and incurs significant costs. And the overall ROI is questionable at best.

Whether businesses can afford it or not, historical trends indicate that the cycle will continue. Therefore, managing the intersection between business outcomes and technology best practices is key to minimising the impact and cost to your organisation.

Creating operational consistency, regardless of functional management decisions, is the way forward.

What Drives the Centralised vs Decentralised Decision?

The choice of a centralised vs decentralised data team is a strategic decision corresponding to the direction of the business.

To ensure a successful outcome it is important to understand what’s driving your decision.

Let’s consider some typical situations.

  • Getting Started:
    • Problem: Perhaps you don’t yet have a mature data capability.
    • Challenge: Building new capability in-house can feel daunting. How do you know whether it would be better to establish this set of skills within the organisation, or to outsource to an established provider?
    • Checkpoint: Reviewing these questions against your company’s strategic plan, risk appetite, budget availability, cloud strategy, in-house capabilities and other factors can help provide clarity.
  • Siloed Capability:
    • Problem: Perhaps you have the capability in your tech team, but your business teams either don’t have the skills to leverage the data or aren’t using the approved tools (or perhaps both).
    • Challenge: Aligning capability across the business, breaking down silos, and ensuring good governance and security protocols throughout the organisation can feel insurmountable.
    • Checkpoint: Gaining stakeholder buy-in is critical – as well as agreement whether this will either be a point-in-time spike investment, or an ongoing objective to sustain.
  • Building the Future:
    • Problem: Managing your legacy systems while building your future state.
    • Challenge: Accomplishing business as usual whilst evolving your IT ecosystem can feel unwieldy and risky. Should you reallocate resources internally and defer other projects and priorities, or bring on a new temporary team (either internal or external) to spike this initiative?
    • Checkpoint: What is the business appetite to either deprioritise planned work, or to increase spend in order to accelerate on multiple strategic fronts?

Solution – Get Operational, Efficient & Secure

No matter where the pendulum currently is for your organisation, managing the intersection between business outcomes and technology best practice is the key to success.

BizCubed exists, performs and supports its clients from within this intersection, focusing on enabling business users – the true SMEs of their data – to become more operational, more efficient and more secure. The pendulum will continue to swing between centralised vs decentralised teams, and establishing this operational consistency can help you more efficiently navigate those changes and keep costs under control. BizCubed can help drive operational consistency in your data ecosystem no matter where in the cycle you are, whilst prioritising quality, reliability, security and business value.

Whether you’re looking to get more value from your data ecosystem, decrease costs, or take advantage of emerging technology – BizCubed can help.

Let BizCubed help you get more from your data ecosystem. Book an intro call today to find out how we can help.

Portrait of Maxx Silver
Rebecca Zeus

Rebecca Zeus is Co-CEO and Director of Enabling Services at BizCubed. A chemical engineer by training and a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt, she has built a reputation as an expert in process design and implementation. Most recently, she led a company-wide initiative to formalise and certify BizCubed’s Information Security Management System. She is also a mother of four, an avid volunteer, a non-profit board member, and a crafting-enthusiast.

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