We live in a time where data is literally exploding. With in excess of 200 billion emails sent every day across the globe, and data expanding at a rate of 15Tb daily, businesses face twin challenges: not only must they cope with phenomenal amounts of available information, but they must harness this data for better business decision making.

At present, data rages out of control, resulting in wasted opportunities and inaccuracies.
For information to become a strategic asset to the enterprise, structured and unstructured data needs to be mined for new intelligence. This will enable organisations to optimise business processes and create and sustain a competitive advantage.
To optimise performance, organisations need to address four areas:
* Gaining insight from the large amounts of information available – i.e., by applying available data mining tools and information management approaches;
* Moving from reaction to prediction – i.e., no longer responding to events after the fact but actually forecasting them and proactively handling situations before they happen;
* Creating value faster to keep up with the speed of transactions in today's business world in real time; and
* Engaging the entire value chain, from suppliers to business partners and customers.
Thus, new intelligence is created. Organisations become smarter and develop entirely new capabilities for optimising business processes, collaborating and driving innovation.

Shifting the focus
As more and more information becomes available, proportionally less of this information is being effectively captured, managed, analysed and made available to the people who need it.
New intelligence shifts the focus away from simply reporting on historical data towards optimisation, situational awareness and prediction.
This intelligence provides information which is secure, available, compliant, retained, precise, predictive and aware.
This can then be used as a strategic asset to make smarter decisions, do smarter business and vastly improved business agility.

Planning an information agenda
Information-led transformation starts with planning an information agenda that will align information with businesses objectives and best apply it in industry specific situations.
Business analytics need to be applied so that decisions can be optimised – better, faster and more accurate decisions can be made with planning, monitoring, reporting and, most importantly, analysis of information.
A flexible information platform will provide the right supporting technology and infrastructure to ensure that information can become a trusted asset that can be shared and securely accessed by everyone who needs it, wherever and whenever they need it.
As a result of undertaking this journey, organisations will be able to achieve and leverage a new kind of intelligence allowing businesses to take advantage of the wealth of information, available in real time from a variety of sources to make more intelligent decisions.

Information, automation, optimisation
The world is changing. Business is changing. And to remain competitive businesses need to realise that equal importance needs to be placed on automation and optimisation, and that information is a key strategic asset for competitive advantage and smart business.
Having new intelligence and information available to the right people in the right place in the right context is the only way forward in this era of information explosion.