In an era where data reigns supreme, business leaders face a paradox: an abundance of information, yet a struggle to harness the data’s full potential. When a large gap exists between how much data a business actually has and how much it can effectively use to drive business, hundreds of opportunities to make data-driven decisions are lost.
As economic uncertainty casts a long shadow over the future and artificial intelligence (AI) changes business dynamics, an organization’s decision-makers shouldn’t have to play a guessing game.
Innovations in cloud-based tools and data virtualization have made enterprisewide data accessibility a reality, but leaders often assume that the cost and complexity of investing in these tools and securing them are risky. Leaders who can see past this paradox and empower their IT teams with the resources and tools they need will succeed. A truly connected data ecosystem with rocksolid security impacts business in both expected and surprising ways.
Data connectivity: the modern organizational imperative
Modern leaders recognize the importance of data. Four in five IT and business leaders agree that data is valuable to organizational success, and are investing heavily in the cloud as they deploy new workloads.
However, just because IT infrastructure has moved toward the cloud doesn’t necessarily mean data has become more connected or useful. The average business now uses more than 90 workplace apps — closer to 200 for enterprise organizations — all of which rely on and generate massive amounts of data. This exponential increase in data has led to IT backlogs of three months to a year — a nearly impossible workload that can prevent real efforts to connect the dots between organizational data.
Sharing data across the organization, in a way that’s both secure and compliant with growing regulatory requirements, doesn’t just happen. However, with the right investment in technology, IT teams can transform the way decisions are made and improve other core business functions in the process.
Four impacts of virtualized data connectivity
True next-generation data analytics, with virtualized data that allows connections and access across departments without moving data’s physical location, are the power tools leaders need for better organizational decision making. Hesitating to act on, or failing to consider an investment in this strategy forfeits the potential benefits across every function.
Let’s take a look at what’s possible:
- Improved data reliability and accessibility: When employees need to wait for complex IT requests to fill before they can access data to make a decision, time and money are wasted. Virtualization opens the door to a much more open exchange of data and information, often without the need for IT support. Additionally, centralizing and connecting data helps improve the reliability of the data itself; when data gets being pulled consistently and automatically instead of ad hoc and manually, there are fewer chances for mistakes or errors.
- Increased agility: Virtualization can shorten long IT backlogs, allowing IT to prioritize innovation, security, and long-term planning. It also lets the IT team support departmental initiatives that aim to improve customer service, user experience, product functionality, and other factors that directly impact customers and partners. Companies that invest in data virtualization create a world where IT can focus on strategy, rather than the daily grind of data requests, and employees don’t have to wait hours — or even weeks — to make a data-informed decision.
- Enhanced security and compliance: Less than 40% of companies express high confidence in their ability to secure data in the cloud. Virtualization’s advantage of allowing data access without physically moving it improves the ability of IT to keep data managed and secure. Additionally, virtualization offers significantly improved user control and permissioning — IT teams and organizational leaders can rest easy knowing only those authorized to access the data can do so, avoiding unnecessary compliance risks.
- Better overall collaboration: Greater data transparency and access allow multiple departments to rely on consistent data to make decisions together confidently. Consider the example of marketing and sales: both have goals of attracting customers and improving revenue but miss out when they lack access to one another’s data. Increased data access allows these departments to align on KPIs, improve strategies, and create efficiencies that can have a ripple effect throughout the organization.
Data connectivity has become imperative in the modern business climate. It's the key to unlocking better decision-making, and a first step in improving security and enhancing collaboration. As we bridge to a future where putting data behind decisions has become a requirement, not an option, virtualized data becomes a cornerstone for organizational success.
Manish Patel, chief product officer, CData