Capabilities to Enable the Next Wave of Digital Transformation By Traci Curran March 10, 2020 Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. Over the past few years, companies of all sizes, across industries have embarked on digital transformation journeys to modernize the way they leverage technology within their organizations. Business processes have been re-defined and deeply integrated with IT systems, applications, and automation capabilities to create highly efficient operations that maximize the value return from both human and technology resources. Most companies have embraced digital transformation and are beginning to reap the benefits in terms of increased productivity and process capacity. But now what? The initial “transformation” project is wrapping up, and IT leaders are looking ahead to the next wave of digital transformation capabilities that their companies will need to embrace. The next step in the transformation journey is a shift towards real-time data-driven decision making. This makes sense – you created a technology-enabled business process that is now churning out continuous streams of data, and it is time to start using that data to drive further optimization. Moving your operations and decision making to real-time will require a new set of data management capabilities – this is what will fuel the next wave of digital transformation. Real-Time Analytics will Enable the Next Wave of Digital Transformation In a digitally transformed business process, things happen quickly, and things can change rapidly. Business agility, the ability to identify and rapidly respond to events, threats, and opportunities, is essential for modern businesses. The first step of business agility is recognizing as soon as something changes in the environment. Any time-delay is lost opportunity and increased risk. That is why companies are investing in real-time analytics capabilities – to efficiently channel data signals from digital business processes to delivering quality data to operational decision-makers in the form of analytics and dashboards. The instrumentation to collect the data are already there (you installed them as a part of your initial transformation. Now the focus is to get the data from the source systems into the hands of people who can make decisions faster. Critical Capabilities that Enable Real-Time Analytics If you take a look at the process for transporting operational data signals from source systems to data consumers and combine it with the transformation process to convert raw data into actionable information insights, three main underpinning capabilities are required. A flexible integration solution to manage the connections and orchestrate the movement of data. A cloud data warehouse capable of handling large scale data analytics in real-time. Reporting tools to present information to decision-makers in an easily consumable format. Of these capabilities, the third one (reporting tools) is probably good enough and doesn’t require attention right now. Why? Because there are a lot of good reporting and analytics tools on the market, and you probably already have one that is good enough. Most companies have more than one of them already, users are happy with them, and they are not yet being used to their full potential. This is because the reporting tools are being constrained by the data being made available to them. What this means is the areas that need the most improvement are your integration and data processing capabilities. Integration and Data Processing Capabilities for Real-Time Data If you want decision-makers to have immediate access to real-time data, there are two problems you’ll need to solve. First is the transport problem – your source data is spread across your organization in a diverse set of devices and applications that may not be connected well and likely have different data formats. You need an integration platform to connect all the systems and components in your IT environment so you can effectively aggregate streaming data into a unified enterprise data set for analytics. That then leads to the second problem – digitally transformed business processes produce a lot of data. You need a data processing capability (with storage and compute) that can handle the massive volume of data and process it quickly and efficiently while at the same time fitting into your IT budget. Actian is an industry leader in modern data management systems. Actian’s connected data warehouse solutions combine the robust integration capabilities of DataConnect with cloud-scale analytics, storage decision-makers, and compute on the Avalanche platform. Together Actian provides the core capabilities that you will need to power the next wave of digital transformation for your business and achieve the vision or real-time decision making. To learn more, visit www.actian.com/avalanche. About Traci Curran Traci Curran serves as Director of Product Marketing at Actian focused on the Avalanche Data Platform. With more than 20 years of experience in technology marketing, Traci has previously held senior marketing roles at CloudBolt Software, Racemi (acquired by DXC Corporation), as well as some of the world’s most innovative startups. Traci is passionate about helping customers understand how they can accelerate innovation and gain competitive advantage by leveraging digital transformation and cloud technologies.