Driving Success in a Rapidly Changing Data Environment

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There are many factors contributing to data environment changes, including users, technology, economics, and data itself. These four sources of change are creating opportunities to deliver competitive advantage but also new management, administration and optimization challenges.

“Frankly, when all four are combined and aligned within an organization, change happens and that change is a more diverse data landscape,” stated Shawn Rogers, chief research officer at Dell Software, during a recent DBTA webcast titled “Hybrid Data Environments - Understanding the Changing Data Landscape and Driving Success.”

Citing research from Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), in 2013 only 28% of big data projects were using single platform and the majority were using multiple platforms to work with their big data. Also, according to EMA the most popular platform type when working with big data is an analytical database platform and applications.

One of the challenges of presenting something new to users is the added complexity that will come along with working within a new data environment. But along with the complexity comes the opportunity for better business practices with hybrid data environments. There is a desire to reduce complexity and create layers of transparency between the user’s data and applications.

Enabling self-service has become a hot topic among companies because it is viewed as means to cut costs. While self-service is exciting, Rogers emphasized that there is a need to keep companies safe while allowing users their freedom to work. “It’s great to give users access and let them have a great time. For those that remember grade school recess, remember that there was a fence way out in the distance that never really bothered us because we had plenty of space to enjoy our freedom. The same could be said for self-service. I love self-service but I believe it is important to use a solution with a fence of some sort.”

Diverse hybrid environments are becoming the norm but do require the correct orchestration and stronger tools to run smoothly, said Rogers. For example, an important aspect of operating a successful hybrid data environment is having the correct tools to handle more complex disaster recovery and high availability because data environments are more complex than other data environment options, said Rogers. With all of the benefits they provide, it may take a little more time for data recovery if the right steps have not been taken. It is important for organizations to take security and data recovery seriously and make sure that their environment is well protected.

“If you skip the security or data governance when setting up your hybrid data landscape, it will become more manual and difficult to track. The great diversity that hybrid landscapes provide will begin to give you headaches,” cautioned Rogers.

To view a replay of this DBTA webcast on demand, go here.