The top hurdles that will keep Australian CDOs up at night in 2024

Informatica Australia Pty Ltd

By Richard Scott, SVP for Asia Pacific & Japan, Informatica
Tuesday, 20 February, 2024

The top hurdles that will keep Australian CDOs up at night in 2024

At a time where data is all around us and public sentiment about privacy and security has reached unprecedented heights, the role and responsibilities of chief data officers (CDOs) across Australian organisations are quickly evolving. Without a doubt, organisations in many industries have truly embraced data as an area of innovation and an engine for economic growth, signalling the importance of the position of CDOs — and at the same time, prompting crucial questions about the shifting priorities of data leadership.

Ultimately, CDOs have the evolving role of delicately navigating the fine line between harnessing technology to deliver data-driven insights and managing data management priorities and strategies. As highlighted in new research by Informatica, this powerful combination is not as easy as it seems, with CDOs experiencing mounting pressures to get their organisation ready for the possibilities of generative AI while addressing data privacy and quality concerns.

This brings us to the mounting questions around what exactly are the top hurdles that will keep CDOs up at night in 2024.

Prioritising generative AI comes with challenges

While technology priorities from last year have remained relatively unchanged, what is clear is the impact of generative AI to businesses’ agendas, with 53% of Australian CDOs predicting their organisation will adopt the technology within one to two years.

Use cases of generative AI in organisations are coming to the forefront, with the majority of Australian CDOs already experimenting with third-party and open-source large language models (LLMs) such as OpenAI’s Chat-GPT. Despite this, there are certain data challenges that are tied to the adoption of the technology that need to be addressed: avoiding bias (53%); data privacy and protection (42%); AI governance (36%); preparing unstructured data to work with LLMs (32%).

Data fragmentation and complexity to worsen

The effective use of data can lead to innovative insights and improved decision-making, but it often opens the door to significant complexities. For starters, 30% of Australian CDOs are struggling to balance more than 1000 data sources within their organisation, with a further 40% expecting the number to increase significantly in 2024. 68% of Australian CDOs have also pointed to needing five or more data management tools to support their ever-expanding data estates, highlighting further complexities.

Proving business imperative

While Australian CDOs have cited the ability to deliver reliable and consistent data fit for generative AI (55%) and improving data governance over data and processes (32%) as the top data strategy priorities in 2024, there are also challenges associated with establishing its need as a business imperative.

Australian CDOs view the inability to justify ROI for executing their data management strategies (45%) as an obstacle, followed by lack of control over budget (45%) and lack of support from business leadership (43%).

While this new era of AI promises plenty of potential and data being viewed as the golden ticket driving almost every aspect of innovation, it also guarantees increased complexity for organisations and CDOs, from the management of disparate and evolving data ecosystems to the countless data and organisational roadblocks to implementation.

Data leaders will have to recognise that there’s an intrinsic connection between generative AI adoption and sound data management strategies. To harness the potential of AI, finding the right tools and resources will be vital in charting the course to AI readiness in one’s organisation to deliver trusted business outcomes.

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