Data Integration: The Connective Tissue of Business By Nidhi Rai December 7, 2018 People, products, processes and systems may come and go, but, regardless, of the structural components of your business, data is the one thing that brings all the pieces together, so you can perform as a cohesive unit. There is no question modern businesses are evolving quickly. Market opportunities are short-lived, technology advancements are happening at a startling pace and customer preferences are constantly shifting –requiring companies to become more agile in how they identify and respond to both opportunities and threats. Business strategies, supply-chain relationships, organizational structures and business processes must all be nimble to adapt to whatever changes the company encounters. Modern businesses need agility to survive With all this change occurring, it isn’t surprising most companies and employees experience what seems like endless churn. People and processes that were critical yesterday are not needed tomorrow. IT systems enter and exit the company’s technology environment as if it were a revolving door. Supplier and partner relationships continuously change, with new players appearing and others disappearing almost daily. With all this churn, it raises the question: “How can I match the pace of change?” Companies must constantly change and adapt to survive in the age of digital disruption. They must integrate diverse sources of data, ever-growing volume, and velocity and veracity of data types. New data sources are emerging from on-premises applications, cloud and IoT, and companies need to access this data. Agility in connecting to diverse data sources and integrating them so you can transform, manage and syndicate data to everyone who needs it is essential. If data is the new oil, then integration is the pipeline that will deliver it It was once thought data existed to support people and processes and as an artifact of IT systems. This understanding was backward – data is the “thing” that makes companies run. People, processes and systems play the supporting role –creating, changing, merging, analyzing, moving and transforming data. Data is the object or asset, the rest are the tools to help data flow throughout the company, so decisions can be made, products can be produced and company goals can be achieved. Think of it like cars on a highway supporting the goal of helping people travel from their various starting points to their desired destinations. The starting and ending points may change, a bridge or a stoplight may be replaced with something else, but what doesn’t change is a bunch of people on the move. Data is what fuels your company growth and integration is what connects all the parts of your company. How data can help you manage change The operational data your company produces (every second of every day) contains a wealth of information about what changes are occurring both within your business and in the environment where you operate. This information can give you insights into how you may need to adapt to take advantage of opportunities and protect your company from threats. People, process and systems are constantly changing anyway (or so it seems) – data can help you direct this change in structured and impactful ways. Some of this data is sourced from inside your company through your day-to-day operations while other data is gathered from your environment. The need for a “Universal Connectivity Platform” to connect anything, anywhere and anytime With the great diversity of IT systems your company operates directly, accesses through cloud providers, or connect to as part of the broader business ecosystem (partners, suppliers, customers, governments, banks, etc.), it can be difficult to manage all of the pieces that are coming and going to ensure your employees and leaders have access to all the data they need to do their jobs. That’s why Actian developed the DataConnect integration solution. DataConnect is that Universal Connect™ platform that empowers anyone to integrate anything, anywhere and anytime. On-premise software, cloud services, partner systems, IoT devices and other data sources can be connected to reporting, analytics and decision-support systems, enabling seamless sharing of data across your company. As your business evolves to match the dynamic needs of the marketplace, old systems can be removed, new systems can be added and business processes and supplier relationships can change, but your data will remain, to help you understand where you’ve been, where you are now and where you must move during the future. Actian is the industry leader in hybrid data management, integration and analytics. These solutions enable you to manage seamlessly and connect your operational and analytics data for superior performance, insights and business outcomes. Actian DataConnect is the universal connection platform that can help you manage your data – the connective tissue of your business, so you are better prepared to respond to the changes ahead. To learn more, visit www.actian.com.