Digital transformation of business is one of the biggest trends of the IT industry during the past few years and is projected to continue to be an important part of companies’ business strategies through 2020. With digital transformation initiatives, companies are transforming business processes to leverage modern technology in new ways – deeply integrating technology-enabled automation with human-driven tasks to create hybrid business/technology processes. As a result of these new processes, companies are not only seeing incremental productivity improvements (as one would expect from any automation initiative), but also transformative changes in the way companies operate and how they use data to drive all aspects of the business – from strategic decision-making to low-level optimization of workflows.
The diversity challenges
While the benefits of digital-transformation initiatives are clear and easily quantifiable, digital business processes create a unique challenge for IT organizations tasked with ensuring the resiliency and agility of the technology services on which the business users depend. The technology components that underpin modern digital business processes are not homogenous pieces of infrastructure hardware and installed software packages. The technology that runs modern business operations is often a combination of on-premises hardware, cloud services, installed software, SaaS offerings, user provided devices (BYOD) and IoT components distributed throughout the enterprise. The broad diversity of components makes assembling the big-picture view of operational data both very challenging and intensely important.
Overcoming diversity with data integration
Integration of diverse data sources isn’t just a “nice-to-have” feature with digital transformation – it is an essential capability. IT teams need the ability to connect anything, anytime and anywhere through a common platform to enable operational data to be aggregated (showing the big picture), integrated (to see dependencies) and shared across the organization (to drive operational insights). Data is the connective tissue of your enterprise and data integration is an important part of your digital-transformation journey. For business processes to leverage fully available technology and achieve the high levels of scalability, efficiency and agility that modern companies require, data must flow freely throughout your organization.
The need for a hybrid integration platform
It isn’t enough to have data from your cloud services, IoT devices and on-premises systems managed separately – your business processes don’t care what technology is being used, who provides it or where it is located. For digital business processes to operate successfully, the technology and data can’t be managed as a box of independent parts – it must be fully-integrated. That’s why Actian developed the DataConnect platform – a hybrid integration platform that connects all of the various components you use across the enterprise, so the data can be integrated, and digital business processes can just work.
Emerging technology requires integrated data
As companies begin to look beyond basic digital transformation towards a new future, emerging technologies, such as Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain and next-generation IoT devices, are highlighting an increasing need for data integration. The number of data sources a company manages is increasing rapidly. This is good, because it provides a more complete and diverse perspective about how the business is running. Technologies, such as ML and AI, can help take the newly available data sources and translate them into actionable insights – if the company is able to integrate effectively the data, so ML and AI capabilities can access it. Data integration is increasingly becoming the key barrier to realizing the complete value of emerging technologies.
Actian DataConnect is a hybrid integration platform to help your company solve the data-integration challenges of both digital transformation and emerging technologies. It provides you with a set of tools to gather the data from a wide variety of source systems, so it can be integrated and distributed to all of the places across your company where you need to use it. To learn more, visit www.actian.com.