By 1874, Western Union President William Orton called telegraph messaging traffic “the nervous system of commerce.” In 1877 Western Union entered the telephone market using Alexander Graham Bell’s invention. And the rest, as they say, is history.
What do Western Union, Bell, and the telephone have to do with a discussion about data integration? A lot! Those early days laid the foundations for today’s connected world of business. Earlier today, Informatica released an announcement that I believe is of similar importance in unleashing the potential of the technology landscape we live in.
The speed of business is faster than ever before, fueled by technology innovations such as cloud, mobile, big data, and social. The barriers to entry into new markets are lower than ever before – big companies can act nimble and small, while small companies can appear large and achieve global reach.
McKinsey & Company recently published a study estimating the spate of technological disruptions (cloud, mobile, internet of things, etc.) will generate between $14 and $33 trillion of economic value by 2025. Implementing specific initiatives to use these technologies for greater economic value will require better harnessing the data and information around you – supporting faster decisions, building smarter applications, and transforming businesses. It is said that the new Boeing 787 generates around 1 terabyte of data per flight per engine. Then there are approximately 500 gigabytes generated by the rest of the plane’s systems each flight. Consider how airlines can use this information to make flights safer, more efficient and more enjoyable?
One of the primary barriers to unleashing this potential is that IT requires time to adopt new technologies. For example, for airlines to unleash the value of this new information generated in-flight, they need to collect and store the data utilizing new big data technologies. Then they need to combine the data with other systems like booking and maintenance, and deliver it to some specific application. This involves new technologies which IT needs to master. Our business ideas are now outpacing our technical readiness.
The Informatica VibeTM virtual data machine can help solve these challenges. In short, Vibe allows you to break data management tasks into two parts – (1) a visual mapping of the business logic for integrating and managing data and (2) the executable plan which is optimized and then generated to perform the data integration tasks on a variety of computing platforms. This separation of logic from physical execution allows you to map once and then deploy anywhere – over and over – without the need for recoding. Vibe seamlessly shields you from changes in the underlying technologies, programming languages, data sources, etc. If your computing platform is Oracle today and Hadoop tomorrow, no problem. Vibe lets you change deployment platforms via a simple configuration change—the virtual data machine handles the detailed changes in language and execution plan underneath. No programming skills required.
While Vibe is a technology component, it has the ability to deliver great business impact by enabling you to unleash the value in your data and information.
Deliver new initiatives 5x faster. By allowing developers to focus on the mapping, cleansing, and management of data, and allowing Vibe to generate the optimal execution code, the development effort is substantially reduced. Add to this the ease with which we can add new technologies (data sources, computing platforms, data types) without requiring a deep investment in having to learn new programming skills.
Use ALL your data for your next business idea. The next wave of applications business will pursue is not in the back office (finance, payroll), but rather at the points of interaction with customers, employees or citizens. For example, the McKinsey study suggests up to $10.8 trillion in economic impact from the mobile internet. The key value in many mobile applications comes from rapidly mashing up data from a variety of sources to enable a rich customer interaction on the device. For instance, a number of retail-oriented apps are now combining your loyalty information, in-store promotions, your location, and local competitor discounts to offer you specials when you are in the store or nearby.
Reduce cost. Everyone wants to deliver IT cheaper. In addition to the speed with which your developers can develop new applications, Vibe also allows you to embrace lower-cost technologies such as Hadoop and cloud platforms. Your existing data integration skills and mappings automatically get converted into new technologies like Hadoop at the click of a button.
Future-proofing. The one thing we are learning in the technology space is that change is going to remain with us. The change is accelerating, and it is unpredictable. There will be new databases, new mobile platforms, new technologies such as virtual reality– all with the potential to drastically transform the business. For more than 15 years, Informatica has architected new, expanded capabilities on top of Vibe to handle the latest technologies as they have come to market – all aimed at lowering the barriers to information.
I started my blog discussing how telephones changed our world. Even today, we cannot imagine a world without phones. That dial tone is the promise of a connected world, and it translates your keypad entries into some code that routes your call to another person. For data, I see Vibe as a key enabling technology that can unleash the incredible potential locked up in our information to make the world a better place.