Evan Leonard, CEO, CrushBank Technology
In today’s digital landscape, data has emerged as the new currency, reshaping industries and driving business success. Especially in the IT industry as more companies are merging. IT companies are collecting vast amounts of data at an unprecedented rate. However, the real value of this data lies in its strategic utilization and analysis. This is where the concept of a data lake comes into play, providing an invaluable resource for businesses to store, manage, and leverage their intellectual property.
What is the condition of an IT company’s data?
I owned an MSP for 30 years and even when we sold our company, our data was good but not great. Most companies’ data ranges from very poor to good. Throughout the years, no one I have spoken to has said their data was outstanding. Their data was either not searchable, didn’t exist, properly input, or is not correlatable.
It is very frustrating that neither the IT support techs nor managers made a high priority out of creating a pristine data lake.
Why are we willing to accept reinventing the wheel every time a new ticket is created? Let’s face it, being on the support desk is not easy. The techs are put into a reactive position since the end users create the support issues. The client wants to work with a competent person who can get their issue resolved quickly. The client wants consistency and it is impossible to deliver without great data.
Understanding the Data Lake: A Reservoir of Insights
Data lakes are designed to accommodate raw data of any format. This makes them highly scalable and flexible, as they can handle data from diverse sources such as line of business applications, databases, and more.
This unification of data and the connections it enables makes it smarter. The key to the data lake’s power lies in its ability to serve as a hub for all data assets, regardless of where they are stored or created. This is the most important asset you can have for IT support.
Once you can see what a tech has resolved prior, find information fast, and identify when data does not exist, only then can you truly own your intellectual property. IT support companies cannot just continue to hire more people to maintain SLA/SLO when salaries are increasing, techs are in short supply, turnover is high and let’s face it, the quality of IT support employees has been declining over the years.
Leveraging Intellectual Property through Data Lakes
Intellectual property (IP) encompasses a company’s proprietary knowledge, innovations, and unique processes that give it a competitive edge. This could include anything from knowledge base articles, unique processes, how-to documents, and previous solutions. A data lake acts as a fertile ground for nurturing and leveraging this intellectual property to drive innovation and business growth.
Analysis from data lakes: Data lakes enable businesses to combine diverse data sets to gain comprehensive insights. By cross-referencing IP-related data, companies can uncover hidden patterns, correlations, and opportunities that might have otherwise remained obscured.
Informed Innovation: Data driven innovation is the cornerstone of business success. Organizations can utilize their data lakes to analyze trends, customer behavior, and technology shifts. This information can guide the development of new processes and services that align with customer needs and preferences, making innovation more targeted and effective. Companies can create personalized customer experiences and enhanced customer support.
Agile Decision Making: When it comes to rapidly changing technology, software, and solutions, quick decision-making is crucial. Data lakes provide a real-time view of various aspects of a business, including intellectual property, enabling agile and data-informed decisions that can help a company stay ahead of the competition and keep clients happy. Think of how much it costs to replace revenue. If you are a top-tier MSP, your company will still lose 12% of your existing clients per year.
Mergers and Acquisitions: A well-maintained data lake can serve as the foundation for expanding the IT support desk across states, time zones, and even internationally. Giving IT support teams access to a data lake across multiple systems positions them to maintain client intimacy and make the transition as transparent as possible.
Building a Successful Data Lake Strategy
To truly harness the power of a data lake and leverage intellectual property, businesses must adopt a thoughtful and strategic approach:
Data Governance: Establish clear guidelines for data quality, security, and compliance. This ensures that the data flowing into the data lake is accurate, trustworthy, and compliant with regulations.
Data Integration: Integrate data from various sources, including intellectual property assets, to create a unified view. This may require data transformation and cleansing to ensure compatibility.
Advanced Analytics: Invest in analytics tools and technologies that enable sophisticated data processing, analysis, and visualization. This empowers an organization to extract valuable insights from the data lake.
Scalability: Design the data lake with scalability in mind. As data volumes grow, the infrastructure should be able to accommodate the increasing demand for storage and processing power.
Talent and Training: Ensure that your team possesses the necessary skills to manage and analyze the data lake effectively. Continuous training and upskilling are essential in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.
By creating a centralized repository for all their customer support data assets, MSPs can unlock insights, drive innovation, and make informed decisions. In today’s data-driven world, a well-constructed data lake can be the key to staying competitive and relevant in the IT support marketplace.