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Get Ready for the New Personal Data Economy

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Over the last ten years of big data excitement and hype the economics of the internet and of digital business have followed Tim O’Reilly’s simple dictum: “The guy with the most data wins.” This maxim has driven the decisions of the internet platform giants, fueled the explosive growth of a massive ad-tech ecosystem, and shaped an entire industry dedicated to customer experience management.

And it’s about to come to an end – or at least to be radically transformed. Social, economic, and regulatory dynamics, some of which have been at work and gaining momentum for decades, are about to force and enforce a fundamental shift. From a free-for-all environment of data collection and exploitation, we are moving to a world where protecting and respecting personal data and privacy is both a legal obligation and a winning competitive strategy.

This shift will require companies to rethink not only their data policies and practices but also the basic nature of their relationship with prospects and customers – and how they encourage the former to become the latter. It means collecting, processing, managing, storing, and disposing of personal data in fundamentally different ways, which will require new technology designs and components, new alliances between CIOs, CMOs, and others, and a new slogan for business success: “The one who’s most trusted with data wins.”

In this Digital Clarity Group report, we examine the signs and symptoms of this transition, analyze how it changes established business practices, and explore the deep and wide-ranging implications of putting people (back) in charge of their own data.

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