With better ways of translating data, organisations become faster, more agile and more competitive.
Data virtualization is an increasingly necessary tool in organisations and businesses that face an exponentially increasing amount of data to process and make sense of.
After all, we live, breathe in a world dominated by data. The Data Age 2025 study, carried out by IDC, predicts that by the year 2025 the generation of information will amount to a total of 163 zettabytes, which means that its volume will increase 10 times worldwide.
So it’s not hard to see why data virtualization is growing in popularity, because the fact is that physically moving and storing the same data in different repositories multiplies costs and slows down processes.
While data virtualization allows access to all data from a single point, without duplicating it, it does provide the ability of caching when necessary. Hence it is increasingly helping to drive digital transformation within companies both large and small.
Business leaders need to make sense of all of the incoming information on customers, suppliers, competitors, investors and many other stakeholders – and make quick decisions, in real time, that affect their business.
To do this, they have traditionally had to turn to the IT department, which, in turn, was collecting and collating all of this information from multiple different sources. They would then move the data from different systems, integrate them and provide a unique view. All of which were actions that, rarely, were carried out in real time.
However, the latest data virtualization platforms enable the business leader to make the best decisions, immediately, in real time, without having to trouble his or her IT department.
In this way, it’s becoming an invaluable tool that allows you to get the most out of the information and data flowing into your business, complementing existing middleware.
Being able to rapidly get a clear, holistic view of all of the relevant data you need, connecting any source of information with any user or application through an efficient middleware layer, is essentially what a data virtualization platform offers to modern business leaders.
Data originates from many various sources: management applications, cloud environments, big data, third-party data providers, social networks and more. And given such a large volume and variety of sources, one of the main challenges for companies lies in gathering different datasets and channelling them into a single format.
Agile delivery of useable data
Plus, the collection of information is only half the challenge. The other part involves the agile delivery of data in a format that can serve business users according to their needs. The main challenge here is that these are different and it is difficult to convert the data into the required formats.
To face this reality, organisations must consider moving from a static model, based on a data repository, to a dynamic model, in which the data warehouse is virtual and not only physical. To achieve the necessary dynamism it is necessary to implement a data virtualization platform that connects to each source of information, regardless of its location.
And, as noted above, the clearest and biggest advantage of this model is the ability of the business leadership team to be fully informed and, therefore, to make informed decisions quickly, in real time.
As the business world is moving to a decentralized model of information and traditional data integration processes are no longer sufficient by themselves, it’s this type of data virtualization platform that is a necessity to help companies navigate through big data, the internet of things, edge computing and other emerging technologies that will come and require companies to rapidly adapt to changes in an agile manner.
Through the proficient use of a data virtualization platform, business users can finally start to be far more self-sufficient and IT departments can become a far more strategic element of the company.
They can, in short, be far more up-to-date in the technological scene – benefitting from agile, reliable and secure business insights and views for decision making, while maintaining their growth without worrying about technological changes.
Charles Southwood is regional VP for Northern Europe and MEA at Denodo.
Data virtualization: Coping With The Forthcoming Data Avalanche