Data is the critical investment for a profitable return in robotics

Data is organic. Make sure you have good governance around your data standards. They will change over time (there was once a time we didn't store anyone's email address...) and you must make sure to implement changes in a way which is structured. Review your data regularly, and build your systems to enable changes to be embraced easily.

It must be open and accessible. You will need to make sure that this SSoT data can be accessed by the systems that need it, when they need it. Some of this might be a regular update of data for changes, some of it might need to be high-performance real-time APIs. Plan it well and design right for the need.

At the core of this transformation is the acknowledgement, as I said above, that we don't implement monolithic systems which stand in isolation any more. It is all about creating these powerful federations among your applications, which leverage the best capability of each to provide better data, and reduce the effort and complexity in maintaining it.

Applications in the future are going to be different. They will be smaller, they will do fewer things (but do them well), and will enable more automation, AI and new uses we probably haven't even thought of yet. These micro-applications will combine to achieve the things we need to manage our business, be flexible and ready to respond to change.

Good data is the foundation on which this transformation will be built. Good data is the critical investment to bring a profitable return in robotics.  

Richard Lord is the Global Head of Enterprise Applications for advertising and public relationships company Publicis Groupe. Leading a global team delivering world class technology to businesses in over 100 countries, Richard is based in Hong Kong and his remit includes digital transformation. Richard is veteran of the digital industry, having started his first online tech company in Australia in 1993.