The fantastic voyage to digital transformation
5 mins read

The fantastic voyage to digital transformation

Four ways enterprises can strengthen their data management processes with the cloud

Digital transformation is the top priority for over 40 percent of CEOs and corporate boards, and most CEOs are leading the initiative personally, according to a recent survey by British Telecom. And it’s no wonder—because the excitement is driven by what Mckinsey & Co. calls “a mass extinction event”—where over 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies have been acquired, merged, or have declared bankruptcy since 2000.

The winner’s circle is crowded with digital and cloud business models including companies like Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Box, Facebook, Microsoft, Stripe, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Twilio, Uber, WeWork, Netflix, Airbnb, and Zappos.

The powerful allure of digital transformation stems from the opportunity to disrupt and overturn status quo business models in healthcare, oil and gas, banking, media, financial services, and even manufacturing and government. These businesses all seek more precise, predictive, and prescriptive applications that directly impact bottom-line results.

Digital transformation starts with becoming data-driven. More data than ever before is being created in spectacular volumes. The data includes structured transactions, but is largely unstructured including web logs, sensors, computer logs, social, IoT, email, images and videos stored in silos across the enterprise. Once captured, this data becomes the fuel for Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and other advanced data-driven applications.

To become data-driven, companies are increasingly looking to the cloud for low cost infrastructure solutions capable of ingesting huge volumes of data from anywhere. Cloud database and file systems are available as open source, support web native applications, run across multi-cloud environments, and are highly efficient in terms of cost, reliability, and ease of use.

Gartner’s database analysts Don Feinberg, Merv Adrian and Adam Ronthal recently wrote that by 2022, 75% of all databases will be located in the cloud. Forrester’s VP Noel Yuhanna agrees, and in his recent Forrester Wave report said that cloud services provide “a database platform to build simple to sophisticated database applications quickly, allowing them to focus on application logic rather than deal with database administration challenges.”

Digital transformation feeds on growing volumes of enterprise data moved or copied from everywhere. With so much data in motion across multi-cloud landscapes, data-driven enterprises must strengthen data management processes in four key areas:

Data Fabric for Digital Transformation

Data Fabric is the architecture and set of services that provide consistent data management throughout the data lifecycle. From data creation to end of life the data fabric manages data movement across the extended cloud enterprise. Data fabric manages data ingestion and preparation and accelerates digital transformation by integrating disparate data types from on-premise and multi-cloud environments.

Data Governance for Digital Transformation

As compliance regulations intensify data governance capabilities must be versatile and support a wide variety of business-critical requirements. Governance, risk and compliance policies should be enforced as business rules to create a system of controls able to satisfy the most demanding compliance requirements such as GDPR and NIST 800. Rules concerning data classification, data retention and data sovereignty should be grounded in Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) best practices and on-going operations should be continuously monitored.

Data Security

Data security and risk grows with the amount of data under management. As data proliferates across multi-cloud data stores, encryption, role based security, data masking and data monitoring controls are a requirement. All data classified as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Personal Credit Information (PCI) and Personal Health Information (PHI) must be encrypted end to end and meet regulatory compliance across the entire data fabric.

Security breaches have generally increased as more companies adopt multi-cloud strategies, but the risk of a security breach may still be lower in cloud. Managing data security on-premise requires a talented team and a multi-layered defense framework. For some organizations data security vulnerabilities may be reduced by leveraging cloud data and application security services that otherwise may not be available.

Data Discovery for Digital Transformation

Whether text searching petabytes of enterprise information or running a Machine Learning process to improve key bottom line metrics, data discovery manages the outcomes of digital transformation. Data discovery relies on a centralized catalog of metadata containing database object definitions like base tables, views and indexes. As data is replicated across multi-cloud landscapes, discovery enables data analysts, data scientists and developers to find and visualize the data they need.

The fantastic voyage to digital transformation is about becoming data-driven. Disruptive digital business models require new information architecture to leverage multi-cloud applications and services. The data fabric must support transaction systems and fast ingestion of large, growing volumes of unstructured data. As security, risk and compliance challenges expand, centralized management and control provides a protection framework over various end points and data lakes.

Advanced data-driven applications are emerging today, and don’t be surprised to find solutions for your business in the cloud.

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