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The business of monetization

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Global Chief Data Officer, IBM

Monetization strategies are a frequent topic of conversation among chief data officers, and for good reason. Although making sure that a business complies with regulations is undoubtedly helpful, many CDOs want to push forward and promote revenue generation for their company. That suggests a very important question: What exactly do we mean when we talk about monetization?

Understanding your organization’s monetization strategy

Monetization is central to the business’s quest to deliver value or achieve goals that drive revenue and profits: How does your organization plan to make money now and as you look ahead? However, monetization need not involve the direct exchange of money for an action or resource. This is an important distinction for CDOs, whose focus should be on supporting the company’s vision and strategic monetization strategy, not just on packaging data itself for resale.

The four Es of cognition will change how we think about our interactions with data. Cognitive systems
  • Have Expertise for a particular domain
  • Support natural human Expression
  • Are Educated rather than programmed
  • Evolve as they experience new information and scenarios

CDOs, then, will need to develop close ties to other executives within the company so that they can fully understand the overall monetization strategy of the business and then develop a data strategy that allows them to support it. This knowledge helps them comprehend the data they use to do so, letting them know what governance structures need to be put in place and helping them identify data whose criticality calls for centralization.

When I began my work as global CDO for IBM one year ago, I spent time talking with other executives about IBM’s goals and vision. As I did, I learned that cognitive capabilities were at the forefront of IBM’s strategy. Accordingly, I’m presenting “data-driven enablement to become a cognitive business” as the global CDO office’s value proposition, and I’m executing against our data strategies to deliver on that promise. I’m confident that unlocking the value of unstructured data and ingesting massive amounts of information using the predictive power and cognitive capabilities at IBM’s disposal will lead to transformation that is both dramatic and far-reaching—not only in our company but also throughout our industry.

Innovating in the marketplace

http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/sites/default/files/businessmonetization_embed.jpgOf course, market innovation often comes with the territory when supporting a company’s monetization ideas through implementation of its data strategy. Sometimes all a company requires to achieve its vision is targeted data integration or business optimization, but achieving truly transformative goals that have widespread implications requires real market innovation.

What’s more, every innovative effort will look different depending on the needs of your business. Bringing in cognitive technologies is the right decision if you are looking to build a business model that will spur your company on to success, but be sure to leave room for other technologies to drive market innovation as well. For example, if your company’s monetization strategy involves becoming a customer-centric organization, you can develop the customer experience by using predictive analytics and customer analytics solutions to drive personalized customer interactions based on data. Or you could bolster new product development through the use of stream computing and application development built on rich data.

What is best for your organization will depend on your situation: You will know how to drive monetization in your role as a market innovator only if you are already in sync with your organization. Find out what your company’s monetization strategy is—if you haven’t already—and challenge your team to create a data strategy that will help support it.

Explore more useful advice for market innovators, business optimizers and data integrators when you visit the CDO Look Book—and check out my keynote address at IBM’s Fall Chief Data Officer Summit. In my talk, I outlined the state of IBM’s progress toward becoming a cognitive business, and I shared strategies that can help you replicate those advances within your own organization. I look forward to hearing how your journey progresses!