Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Chris Kocher, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo

Containers Expo Blog: Article

How Data Virtualization Delivers Business Agility – Part 1

Make decisions faster based on complete, high-quality actionable information

Enterprise adoption of data virtualization has accelerated along with a growing need for greater business agility.

The close relationship of business agility and data virtualization was described in my recent Virtualization Magazine article, The Agile Business - Why Data Virtualization Is Needed.

It can also be observed across hundreds of organizations and is clearly evident in the ten case studies described in the recently published Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility.

Three Elements of Business Agility
In their quest to become agile businesses, these organizations address all three elements of business agility: business decision agility, time-to-solution agility and resource agility.

This article addresses how data virtualization delivers business decision agility. Part 2 and Part 3 will address time-to-solution agility and resource agility.

Agile Business Decisions Are Key
Making effective business decisions requires knowledge and insight that can only be developed from access to and analysis of complete, high-quality actionable information. Data virtualization enables the organization to deliver this information in several ways.

Complete Information
Understanding the complete picture is the first step in any decision process. Large enterprises today have thousands of data sources that span multiple transaction systems of record, complementary applications, consolidated data stores, external data sources and more. Each source is a silo with its own unique metadata and data model, data access toolset, and underlying architecture.

The challenge is to integrate data across these traditional silos in order to provide the business user with a single, complete and high-level view of whatever information is needed for analysis and decision making.

Taking this concept to the enterprise level, data virtualization has the ability to provide an organization with a unified view of information across the entire business.

One traditional solution is to consolidate all of the data in a unified, enterprise data warehouse. However, this does not always prove feasible in practice for a number of reasons, including the ongoing proliferation of new data sources and types that must be incorporated into the warehouse.

As an alternative, data virtualization offers virtual data federation functions that enable an organization to integrate its extensive range of internal and external data sources without moving any data. Accessing the data in a new source, for example, simply requires establishing a single connection - from the data virtualization layer to the source - and the creation of virtual views and data services to access, transform, abstract and represent the source data in an appropriate format for consuming applications.

High-Quality Information
Ensuring that the information guiding business decisions is high quality and fit-for-purpose is a second major business decision agility requirement.

It is rare that as-is, raw data in original source systems is an exact match for the consuming application and business user. At a minimum, some degree of format and syntax transformation is required to bridge the gap between source and consumer data models and technologies. In many cases, additional validation and standards-conformance processing is also needed to improve the integrity and consistency of the data delivered to consumers.

Data virtualization supports multiple techniques to ensure delivery of high-quality information. For example, when providing up-to-the-minute, institution-wide views of equity, option, futures, derivative and debt positions for risk managers in the financial services industry, data virtualization transforms the data as structured in the various trading platform sources into a consistent form and format for consumption by the risk management applications.

Actionable Information
Finally, the information decision makers require must be actionable. Time-to-action is an additive function that combines time from event-to-insight, insight-to-decision, decision-to-implementation and implementation-to- results.

Yesterday's data, summarized in the warehouse, is not sufficient when having the most current information is the first step in a time-to-action path. For example, understanding the current location and availability of maintenance staff and repair gear is a critical first step in understanding how to respond to an equipment failure in process industries.

Data virtualization provides high performance query engines and flexible caching to query and deliver source data in near-real time whenever it is requested. This ensures decisions are made based on the most up-to-date information available when appropriate.

Conclusion
Making effective business decisions requires knowledge and insight that can only be developed from access to and analysis of complete, high-quality actionable information.

Data virtualization offers virtual data federation functions that enable an organization to integrate its extensive range of internal and external data sources to provide the business with a complete picture. Further, data virtualization supports multiple techniques to ensure delivery of high-quality information. Finally, data virtualization can query and deliver source data in near-real time whenever it is requested to ensure up-to-date, actionable information.

Editor's Note: Robert Eve is the co-author, along with Judith R. Davis, of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility, the first book published on the topic of data virtualization.  This series of three articles on How Data Virtualization Delivers Business Agility includes excerpts from the book.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for s...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...