Data is a beautiful thing. This mentality has long been embraced by IT professionals. However, other departments are quickly taking notice and realizing the opportunity it can bring. The root cause of this shift in opinion? It starts and ends with technology. It is now easier than ever to collect data and it can reveal endless insights on your business and customers.

For example, let’s look at the Internet of Things. According to Gartner, 43 percent of organizations will have implemented or will be in the process of implementing an IoT strategy by the end of this year. By 2020, the estimate of connected devices is at 20.8 billion. The potential of big data has simply become too attractive to ignore!

But IoT alone is just one piece of the puzzle. The most successful businesses are pairing IoT and other data collection systems with analytics solutions. These are all core elements of the digital transformation. In order to paint the most complete picture of how your operations are running, businesses must be able to turn information into insight and insight in action. When you consider the avalanche of information and data that is coming from digital technologies this can often seem daunting. Yet once a business is able to connect all the live data from multiple sources, and act on it, that business becomes what we call a live business.

A live business is one which is able to access real-time data, to sense, respond, adapt and predict to meet customer demand in the moment. It is an organization which can truly market to an audience of one and not a single opportunity is missed. In today’s world of digital transformation, the two are one in the same.

The pace of transformation is not showing any signs of slowing down. According to research from our Leaders 2020 study, only one in five businesses are winning in the digital economy. This means there is still a lot of change required for organizations to take advantage of technology and succeed. So how can leaders embrace the digital transformation and create a truly live business? It largely depends on increased involvement from the top down.

Altimeter reveals that CMOs are 34 percent more likely to lead the digital transformation compared to their c-suite counterparts. It comes as no surprise that marketers are statistically leading the movement, as our department has seen firsthand the rapid evolution of data and analytics. But to be successful, marketers must bring together the entire organization and closely align with CEOs and CIOs. They each have a distinct and critical role to play. The most informed decisions are those that come from working together and keeping a pulse on the latest technologies.

The changes coming in the next five years will continue to bring innovation at an even faster rate. By learning now how to Run Live, businesses can actively prepare for the digital economy of tomorrow and move forward successfully and confidently.

–Originally appeared in Marketing Tech Insights.