Data is a vital asset for companies seeking to make informed decisions, improve operational efficiency, and understand customers. This year’s pandemic has only reinforced its importance with data-driven organizations embracing agile integration solutions to manage disparate data sets and derive more in-depth insights.
However, while many companies claim to have a data strategy in place, only a few have evolved into proper data-driven enterprises. Many companies in the Asia Pacific region are still sitting on decades worth of data but struggle to use it to its full potential. This can be attributed to duplicate, fragmented, inconsistent, and siloed data.
To make matters more complicated, rapidly evolving systems and architectures that generate and control data make it more challenging to manage data across distributed environments. To solve this and other similar challenges, companies need to build a unified data infrastructure that supports accurate data, fosters trust in it, and enables confident predictions of business outcomes.
Internal Data Obstacles
Pandemic-induced lockdowns forced companies to shift employees to virtual environments and digitize their operations. To reduce vulnerabilities, companies have adopted new technologies and migrated data to the more secure environment of the cloud.
Some data cannot be moved to the cloud due to financial or regulatory concerns. Such hybrid IT environments where data is partially in the cloud while the rest is in on-premise systems pose even more challenges. There are chances of duplication of data leading to the creation of multiple databases or data lakes without a single source of truth that is consistent across all the systems. This may lead to management and control issues that limit the company’s understanding of operations and market conditions.
These shortcomings, combined with the need to prepare for a post-COVID environment, will drive companies to adopt new technologies. The challenges may increase if there is no system to manage the data generated or the tools to control it.
Make a plan for connecting enterprise data
The easiest way for companies to reduce these complexities is to devise a simple data strategy.
A data management blueprint for unifying distributed environments allows organizations to build modern data architectures, such as data fabric, data warehouse, or data-as-a-service model, based on what is best for the business. It promotes seamless data access, consumption, and sharing activities that are critical to business agility.
The framework also allows companies to get a clear picture of disparate data by layering on technology with the necessary controls and can support future digitalization plans. Organizations that need to unify complex datasets turn to data virtualization software to deliver insights with breakthrough speed and cost-effectiveness.
Take, for instance, Affin Hwang Asset Management, a Malaysian firm that embraced open banking to improve its relationship with customers, identify new revenue streams, and offer new digital services. To achieve this goal, the priority was to improve how data was used and ensure that it was in strict compliance with the regulations imposed on all financial institutions. The company also leveraged APIs to enhance partnerships with third-party fintech enterprises, targeting new customers.
In the U.S., Dartmouth College is using data analytic tools to protect its 4,400 undergraduate students expected to return to the campus in the summer of 2021 from contracting the coronavirus. These tools will help the college gather and monitor body temperature and related data of anyone visiting the campus to create a real-time view that strengthens its response to potential health concerns.
Companies must build data-driven digital businesses that empower them to make better decisions faster. Adopting a data management blueprint as a framework for embracing disparate environments simplifies the act of unifying data, tools, and processes. By creating a cohesive data picture, companies further enhance the efficiency and productivity of the business and its technology environment.
Erich Gerber, senior vice president for EMEA & APJ at TIBCO Software, wrote this article.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends. Image credit: iStockphoto/spainter_vfx