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A red letter day for data

Posted on: Tuesday 23rd of October 2012

Today is a red letter day for data. BT has today announced a global information logistics service. The potential impact on the data market is transformational. It is one of the first information logistics platforms in the world delivering enhanced productivity, improved customer service and operational efficiencies through enabling multiple streams of near real time and static data to flow between businesses. It is an especially exciting development for Ctrl-Shift because of our involvement at the innovation, vision and definition phase. Through our bespoke research Ctrl-Shift helped to define the scope and value chain, size the information logistics market and assess the size of the prize for BT.

According to BT the new platform, which is now part of their BT Trace supply chain capabilities, “cost effectively and securely collects, stores, shares and interprets high volume event data about goods and assets moving along an extended global supply chain. The new service integrates the complex information from the various resource planning and IT systems used by global companies – and by their suppliers – to provide a single view of the whole supply chain through a customised web portal.”

The information logistics problem – about what, where and how to get the right information to and from the right people so that it delivers real business value – has long been a critical issue of supply chain management and organisations’ need to maximise efficiency/cut costs. By providing a cloud service to enable the right data to be published, sourced and shared across a global supply chain BT is enabling  a multitude of barriers to be removed. These include commercial barriers such as information gaps about all the data sources/assets available across the supply chain, the ability to manage increasing complexity, and to ensure confidence that the data will be used appropriately. They also include legal and technical barriers particularly around assurance and verification that the data is correct, true, relevant and can be relied upon to make decisions, and around legal ownership. By eliminating these barriers an information logistics service such as BT’s new capability enables data to become a true digital asset.

BT has trialled the service with TNT Express. Steve Brown, Divisional General Manager of TNT Special Services says in the press release: “We have shown that greater visibility across the supply chain increases efficiency and flexibility. There is no doubt that a single view across all systems and data speeds up processes and identifies significant events, allowing us to respond in new and better ways to our customers, and they, in turn, deliver a better service to their customers”.

Ctrl-Shift would like to explore how much further efficiency and value could be created when this information logistics service is used to enable personal data flow – extending information logistics beyond physical logistics and into the world of the empowered consumer. This leap in thinking could multiply the reduction in waste and costs and increase the value creation opportunities significantly. If you’re interested in exploring the nature of these opportunities, or information logistics more generally, then please contact us.

We’ve updated our timeline which charts the key developments in the personal data landscape to include this announcement. It is an important development and it’s good to see it in the context of the overall developing ecosystem as a potential game changer.

We will be publishing our new report ‘Information Logistics: Key to Digital Value Creation’ about the innovation and economic opportunities of information logistics platforms on October 31, the same day as we publish findings from our research for Innotribe, the innovation initiative of SWIFT, into the value and business proposition for a Digital Asset Grid.