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Dare to Share

When data sharing and data exchange make strategic sense

Dmitry Shipilov / September 17, 2020

Data sharing and data exchange are among the key enablers of the digital economy. Which strategic opportunities do they offer and is your business ready to seize them?

One of the major trends in virtually any industry nowadays is the changing role of data. As the world moves towards a digital economy and digital ecosystems, and even more from physical to digital interaction in general, data stops being a unique asset.

From being the “modern gold or oil”, or whatever else they like to call it, in many respects data starts to resemble a commodity – or even a publicly owned utility. Our topic today is how the role of data changes, what challenges this transformation brings and how to deal with it.

Download our whitepaper on this topic, Dare to Share: When data sharing and exchange make strategic sense, or continue reading.

The driving forces of the digital economy

While still being a huge asset and competitive barrier in isolation, data much more often becomes a vehicle for strategic breakthrough, but only when shared between multiple parties to create a mutual business advantage.

There are multiple structural forces at play here. You have customers who want to be in control of their data, regulators that make it more difficult to keep data ownership and digital services that start making much more sense or deliver much more value when they are cross-organizational or even cross-industry. Finally, the way data is generated has changed. There is much more data generated out of your direct reach or control than within it. As a result, there is much more you can do in partnerships than alone. So, in these circumstances, cross-organizational data sharing and exchange, as well as open data partnerships, become the driving force of a new economy.

The sources of strategic advantage

Each company should understand whether data sharing and exchange is a thing for them. They need to understand what strategic advantage it offers and how to exploit it in the right way

One example when data sharing and exchange makes strategic sense is when vertical integration is impossible (for example, due to regulation), inappropriate (due to market diversity), or simply expensive. In this case, building a digital ecosystem can be an alternative that removes obstacles; but one cannot build a digital ecosystem without shared data. One case in point is TradeLens, a global platform and interconnected ecosystem of supply chain partners developed by Maersk and IBM. You cannot and do not want to acquire or merge with counterparties in a logistic chain, so you onboard them on a platform driven by shared data.

Another example is the possibility to offer integrated add-on and bundled services that bring much more value when they are cross-business. Bundled road assistance and maintenance services in the field of motor insurance is one obvious example, but if you look carefully at your own industry through the lens of sharing data you can find opportunities previously untouched.

Data sharing also makes sense when auxiliary data from complementary sources is combined to offer better insights into a business or market. Here, we are able to talk about machine learning algorithms that can be trained much better if they are fed as much information as possible, including data from partners. Interestingly, research shows that certain industries can even benefit if competitors share their data with each other (which can sound counterintuitive at first). Insurance is an example of such an industry.

Finally, data sharing can be a cost optimization strategy – and there are different ways to achieve it, both operationally and legally. Take, for example, Invidem, a Nordic KYC Utility that was founded not so long ago. It’s a clear example of process externalization that has several strategic benefits, and is based on data sharing and exchange as a principle.

This is not the end

You are most welcome to download our whitepaper, Dare to Share: When data sharing and exchange make strategic sense, where you can find solid insights and thinking around the matter. In this paper, we explore when data sharing and exchange make the most sense. Then, we look at the criteria that help you determine if you are in a good position to make it part of your business. Finally, we explore the requirements that your technology needs to meet in order to share and exchange data with external parties, both securely and efficiently.

Last but not least, we present you with an exciting selection of 8 success stories and solutions that TietoEVRY had the honour of working on in the context of sharing and exchanging data among businesses and institutions. Among them are two great sustainability stories, where TietoEVRY helped the Nordic cities of Vaasa and Trondheim become more carbon-friendly by sharing data between local businesses in one case and energy utilities in the other.

In one case within healthcare and welfare TietoEVRY helped to build preventive healthcare and medical research ecosystem for University Hospital in Helsinki. Furthermore, TietoEVRY has a robust solution for Open API Exchange Marketplace, which allows any company to start sharing or consuming data with minimal technical effort. Download the whitepaper and take a look. 

Reach out

We encourage you to unleash the potential of data together. Reach out to discuss the new possibilities that data sharing and exchange can create for your business, the emergent business models in your domain, ecosystem co-creation, advanced data services in TietoEVRY’s portfolio and much more.


Dmitry Shipilov
Senior Business Consultant

With diverse background on the intersection of business and IT, Dmitry advocates a strategically-aligned and disciplined application of emerging digital technologies to create new business value.


Dmitry Shipilov

Senior Business Consultant

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