Open and collaborative exchange of data between organisations, their partners, customers and competitors is increasingly being powered by trusted data sharing networks. And as with every paradigm shift, this new reality heralds both opportunities and risks for players in all sectors.
Mariane ter Veen – in her newly-established role as Director, Lead Data Sharing – discusses INNOPAY's focus on helping customers to formulate strategic responses to an ecosystem increasingly based on collaboration.
Data sharing in a world where Everything's Transaction
"What really excites me about this new role is the opportunity to support our customers with a challenge which is here right now," enthuses Mariane, who has a wealth of experience in this domain. Before spearheading the development of our logistics data sharing scheme – iSHARE – she led a number of high-profile data exchange initiatives across different industries.
"Data sharing is in INNOPAY's DNA," continues Mariane. "We see a world where trusted data exchange is the key to unlocking new business models and reducing costs. Companies are presented with a choice about how they see their future. They can evolve, adopt a more open outlook, collaborate across their ecosystems, and maximise new opportunities. Or they can remain siloed, reject opportunities to share data in trusted environments, and gradually calcify into irrelevance. The regulated financial world with e.g. payments and securities is an early manifestation of this ecosystems thinking. We believe that digitisation will drive much more of this or we’ll end up in a fragmented services world. For transaction services this is not practical and holds back the potential of the digital economy.
"We believe our customers are ready to embrace a new way of doing business. My role is to help them articulate their data sharing vision, and guide them through the journey."
Working together is the way forward
A common response to the data sharing challenge has been the platform-based approach; organisations develop their own proprietary platforms or engage in bilateral agreements with key suppliers or partners. This approach can be expensive, time-consuming, difficult to scale, and ultimately leads to data isolation. Mariane proposes a fundamentally different solution.
"In a world where everything's transaction, companies need to play a more active and inclusive role in their data ecosystems. We serve our customers by helping them achieve the required level of openness whilst always ensuring that their own customers remain in control of their data. Real business opportunities come from working together, even with competitors and previously unknown parties.
Trust is the key to unlock data sharing opportunities
Mariane believes that "trust" is the essential ingredient to ensure effective data sharing. "Trust will be the driver for collaborative data sharing. In our view, the creation of a scheme or trust framework will enable our customers to exchange data more easily, and reap their own specific benefits and competitive value from within the broader ecosystem.
There is a real space in the market for soft infrastructures; sets of agreements enabling data sharing. These will create a more equitable power balance between users and platform owners in both the control of data, and also in the value which can be realised from that data."
Organisations are presented with both opportunities and risks by the transition to trusted data sharing. New and innovative business models will be enabled by a greater capacity to drill into extended data sets shared with suppliers, partners and even competitors. Increased trust will also deliver cost efficiencies by lowering transaction management costs.
If trust is established between parties, it will be easier, faster and cheaper to do business together. Outlays on technical infrastructures and legal agreements will be lowered. On the reverse side, failure to act now could leave companies increasingly out in the cold.
iSHARE is a scheme which will facilitate openness across multiple sectors
iSHARE is a tangible example of INNOPAY's ability to support customers in making this transition. It is a set of agreements which enables players across the logistics industry to share data with each other on the basis of mutual trust; irrespective of type, size, modality and jurisdiction. It is not a technology solution, instead the shared agreements provide all the essential functional, technical, legal and operational standards that are needed for organisations within the iSHARE community to share data.
Mariane sees iSHARE as a template which will be used to unlock effective data sharing across a wide variety of industries. And INNOPAY is uniquely qualified to help organisations to sidestep the challenges of developing this type of collaborative soft infrastructure.
"We've dealt with many challenges such as the involvement of a wide variety of stakeholders with their own specific interests. When we facilitate projects like iSHARE, we focus on very tangible goals and objectives, and agree what needs to be delivered to unlock business value for each stakeholder. We listen carefully to their objectives, and take them on a journey which reveals common interests across the community as well as their own local aims. This is how we make data sharing schemes like iSHARE successful. It's a model we want to deploy to help new customers."
Now is the right time to get ahead of the game
"The opportunity is here now," concludes Mariane. "If you don't act, someone else will. This is all about your future position in your value chain. And whether you take this opportunity to improve your business for both yourself and your customers by sharing data more effectively."
If you would like to discuss how INNOPAY can help your organisation to articulate and implement a future-proofed strategy based on collaborative data sharing, Mariane would be delighted to hear from you (firstname.lastname@example.org).