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Why cross-platform data management is non-negotiable

Flatfile data
(Image credit: Flatfile)

Over the last decade, businesses have been moving their infrastructure to the cloud, modernizing analytics, databases, data warehouses and lakes, so they can work with greater flexibility and agility, in a cost-effective way, at scale. However, while 80% of organizations across industries plan to accelerate their digital transformation efforts, 70% of digital transformations have failed to achieve their objectives, according to the World Economic Forum. 

True digital transformation – not digital modernization – is ultimately about providing a great customer experience and to do that businesses now require cloud nativity, as well as a data-led, AI-centric approach. 

Data is growing exponentially and is more distributed than ever. A recent survey by Unisphere Research revealed that 72 percent of Database Administrators are managing an increasing number of databases, while nearly 70 percent of administrators have to contend with more than one database platform and nearly a third have to manage three or more. This data proliferation, fragmentation and decentralization has made the new normal a cloud-first and multi-hybrid world.

Cloud-first means that if something can be done in the Cloud, then it should be. A multi-hybrid environment spans any cloud, with multiple clouds as the standard. Any business not embracing this new normal will now grapple with a whole host of challenges associated with dispersed and fragmented data across a multitude of company platforms, clouds and siloed systems. Not least, the complexity of trying to connect the right data with the right consumer. 

That’s a major problem because data is an organization’s most important asset. One it uses to create new and differentiated experiences for customers, employees, and partners. Therefore, for businesses to thrive in this new world, they now need a cloud dedicated to data management, to help them to truly innovate with their data on any platform or cloud, and for people to use right across the organization, not just in IT. 

After all, it is those businesses that can join the dots between data and consumer with ease and trust, that will move from digital modernization to true digital transformation. The ones that can offer new, innovative products and services to customers and that create pioneering customer engagement and operating models to get new customer experiences to market. 

So, what benefits does cross-platform data management bring to help with this?

Be cloud-native at scale 

Data is growing exponentially as organizations shift to the cloud. By having a single cloud-native platform enabling data, app and API integration, and data management at scale, organizations will have the flexibility to elastically scale up their data processing power as the business demands. They will also benefit from the ability to ingest data, in any form, at any latency, to further the democratization of data and empower business users with real-time, data-led insights. 

Turn data into insights on a massive scale 

For organizations that process petabytes of data a day in a highly fragmented and dispersed data landscape, it is vitally important to have a metadata-driven system of record – ideally also powered by AI and machine learning (ML) – to enable them to make smart decisions in real-time, using the latest in-depth insights. AI and ML capabilities allow businesses to derive insights from masses of data in minutes, as opposed to several months, using intelligence and automation. This substantially increases productivity.

Enterprise-scale data management on any cloud, any platform 

A single, cloud-native platform allows you to bring data from any source, of any type, to serve any user anywhere – be they a business or technical user. In short, you can visualize, analyze and collaborate with the data, regardless of location. As a result, organizations are able to connect, access, consume and govern data wherever it flows, be that in the cloud, cloud-to-on-premises environments or on-premises-to-on-premises environments.  

Agile innovation at speed 

The fast pace of business these days requires us all to be extremely agile, in order to meet dynamic and ever-changing needs. Maximizing agility and collaboration with a low-code or no-code cloud data management allows customers to go directly from idea to implementation, responding to dynamic business requirements and changes in real-time, but without the costs associated with developing and maintaining code. By making data accessible to everyone and empowering more users across the business with trusted, timely and actionable data insights at-scale, organizations can digitally transform business initiatives from customer experience, to e-commerce, financial transformation and supply chain management. 

Unilever, for example, implemented and transformed its master data space by automating, enhancing controls and working around the complexity of global fast-moving consumer goods. Last year, it used its new self-serve portal to reduce supplier onboarding time from five weeks to a few days, not to mention rolling the portal out to 90 countries in 90 days. This helped minimize manufacturing delays and flex with consumer demand during the pandemic.

Trust and data privacy as standard 

Data is the most valuable asset that organizations have today, therefore nothing is more important than protecting it. High industry standards of data security and governance to define and enforce policies ensures that appropriate teams can quickly access and understand data, AI models and pipelines. Cross-platform data management ensures trust with consistent enterprise-wide data quality and protects data to minimize privacy risks and manage regulatory compliance.

Global healthcare leader Eli Lilly and Company needed to unify its data governance across the business and democratize its data so that it became useful for everyone. The organization deployed an intelligent framework to centralize governance activities and data assets, as well as starting an enterprise backbone initiative using cloud storage technologies to reduce the number of disparate data lakes and warehouses.  

As digital transformation accelerates across the globe, those organizations that want to remain competitive know that they must use their data as a strategic asset, storing, managing and mining it in smarter ways, so that they can make the best business decisions possible. Cross-platform data management helps businesses to innovate with their data, empowering them to deliver exceptional outcomes, on an unprecedented scale.

Emilio Valdes, SVP EMEA & LATAM, Informatica (opens in new tab)

Emilio Valdés is VP for EMEA and LATAM at Informatica. He joined Informatica in 2009 and since then has worked on hundreds of data initiatives with Informatica’s clients and partners.