In every industry, there are inflection points that change the face of the market by creating new opportunities. Take the mobile phone market: for years, flip phones were king and companies like Motorola and Nokia were the uncontested leaders. Along came the iPhone, which created the smartphone market as well as new opportunities for a handful of innovative companies that were ready to jump in and lead.
Sometimes it’s start-up companies that take advantage of these inflection points, and sometimes it’s already established ones like Apple. But what they all have in common is the foresight and willingness to leverage those inflection points to pioneer a new market.
Right now, the data market is facing its own set of inflection points in:
- Data Location
- Data Processing
- Data Management
These inflection points present potentially great opportunities or great threats for both technology suppliers and consumers.
In the past, all data and related applications were located on-premise in a company’s data center.
But now we are witnessing rapid movement of massive amounts of data and applications to the cloud. This creates new data integration issues between remaining on-premise (ground) data and cloud data. In addition, the proliferation of successful SaaS companies creates the need for both cloud to ground and cloud to cloud integration.
At the same time the location of data sources is proliferating. No longer does the bulk of data originate in a structured way from PCs. Both massive quantities of unstructured, human originated data as well as even more massive amounts of data from IoT devices is flooding into both cloud and ground based data centers.
This major inflection in the location of data is creating a demand for new and more sophisticated data integration capabilities.
Over the past several years, both cloud and ground based data centers have been undergoing a huge change to scale-out, virtualized architectures. And now, we are about to see the wholesale movement from spinning disks to solid state storage. Both of these inflections provide the basis for not only dramatic improvements in transaction processing efficiency but whole new ranges of analytics. Although “Big Data” may have been over hyped, these new analytics are beginning to demonstrate real business value. In addition, the speed of both transaction and analytic systems is enabling real-time systems that do both transaction processing and analytics simultaneously on a single system.
This inflection point in the way data is processed requires that data integration move from a predominately batch mode to a parallel, real-time mode.
Traditionally, the CIO has concentrated her/his efforts on managing the core enterprise applications and data bases. However, now with the rapidly growing diversity of data types, locations and processing, the CIO/CDO is struggling to even understand where all the enterprise’s data is located, how it is being used and who is accessing it. There is a whole new level of meta data management that is needed to sit on top of the SQL data bases, NoSQL data bases, structured, unstructured, on-premise, cloud-based, data warehouses and data lakes.
This inflection in the way data is managed creates possibly the biggest challenge to build technology that will provide a means to manage a company’s most valuable asset – its data.
There are many companies that are attempting to provide bits and pieces of technology to address each of these three major inflections. Informatica has been the clear leader in data integration products over the past two decades providing the best integration of conventional enterprise data. Many have called Informatica the data plumber of the industry.
As these inflection points drive increased volume, variety and importance of data, the role of data integration and management rises to a level above the many DBMS products and becomes the heart of a corporation’s data management strategy. Informatica is innovating at a rapid pace to solve these new strategic challenges and intends to be seen now as the heart surgeon of the data industry.