There’s a popular mantra in the tech world these days that every business should strive to become a software business. With technology now central to competitiveness, the thinking goes, organizations must innovate through software to stay ahead. While there’s a germ of truth in this, the thinking is flawed and can lead CIOs to focus on the wrong objectives and waste time and money. Rather than view themselves as software companies, organizations need to think of themselves as data companies—data is the critical asset every company has and should leverage to improve operations, better serve customers and increase profitability.
The distinction between software and data may seem semantic—you obviously need software to access data—but it’s more significant than that. By casting software innovation as the imperative, CIOs focus on the wrong objective and miss out on more impactful, more immediate opportunities to expand their business.