The ingredients of competitive advantage and differentiation tend to evolve over time. Throughout history they have included access to capital, raw materials, labor; they have been based on economies of scale and economies of scope. At IDC, it is our contention that the new basis for differentiation will be economies of intelligence. The next decade will see a battle for the future of intelligence that we define as an organization's capacity to learn, combined with its ability to synthesize information in order to learn and to deliver resulting insights at scale.
Each of these three capabilities is underpinned by technology, processes, skills, and a culture that values data literacy, incorporates machine learning, and provides business intelligence plus data intelligence or intelligence about the data itself, to enable the rest of the data to decisions life cycle. Specifically:
The imperative to change data and analytics processes and practices has never been clearer. Faster innovation cycles and greater volatility don't require simply more data or more siloed information. They require a contextual decision environment. As Nobel laureate Herbert Simon said, 'In an information-rich world, the wealth of information [....] creates a poverty of attention [...].'
Finally, the imperative to rethink what it takes to increase enterprise intelligence and to compete in our digital economy applies to everyone. It is not a domain of only a few unicorns - success cases can be found across industries, geographies, and among start-ups and companies that have delivered value for decades. The question is whether you'll embrace this future of intelligence or be left behind.