Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Virtualization, SOA & WOA

Virtualization: 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.


@CloudExpo Stories
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
What do a firewall and a fortress have in common? They are no longer strong enough to protect the valuables housed inside. Like the walls of an old fortress, the cracks in the firewall are allowing the bad guys to slip in - unannounced and unnoticed. By the time these thieves get in, the damage is already done and the network is already compromised. Intellectual property is easily slipped out the back door leaving no trace of forced entry. If we want to reign in on these cybercriminals, it's hig...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudian, Inc., is a Foster City, California - based software company specializing in cloud storage software. The main product is Cloudian, an Amazon S3-compliant cloud object storage platform, the bedrock of cloud computing systems, that enables c...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
"ElasticBox is an enterprise company that makes it very easy for developers and IT ops to collaborate to develop, build and deploy applications on any cloud - private, public or hybrid," stated Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to th...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, focused on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud platfo...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.