Bloor Research: How to do More Data Integration With Less

“Data Integration should be at the heart of data architecture modernization initiatives such as next-generation analytics, application modernization, total customer relationship, data governance and so on.” This analysis from Bloor Research is music to my ears. We’re seeing more and more organizations standardizing on data integration tools as a way to accelerate business value delivery.

Data integration matters, according to the report’s author, Philip Howard, because of the shift in recent years toward a “broader focus on data-driven enterprises.” In the Bloor Research Report, Comparative Costs and Uses for Data Integration Platforms in Agile Enterprises, Howard writes that data integration is a fundamental factor, not merely as a tactical tool but as a “strategic foundation for today’s enterprise.”

 

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A key reason is that the flexibility provided by good data integration, and the ability to work across many use cases, including ones that haven’t emerged yet,  has a critical effect on total cost of ownership, and overall success.

Data integration is becoming more important for a number of reasons, but I see two dominant trends:

  • More data sources: the business is regularly asking for new data sources to be brought into the data warehouse, and for analysis to include multiple internal and external data sources.
  • Real-time analytics: Businesses want to shift from using data to understand their past, and instead use it to support real- time decision-making.

Often these changes sound like significant challenges, requiring whole new projects and solutions. But if your data architecture is strong and flexible, the changes should be manageable. For instance, it’s actually pretty easy to upgrade Informatica PowerCenter to enable real-time operational decision-making from really good data.

Getting to the right data integration solution

Your approach to modernizing your data architecture, and to data integration in particular, can’t focus only on your current needs. It’s safe to predict that you’ll be asked to handle more sources of data— including an increase in cloud-based sources—and that you’ll be asked to deliver faster, but beyond that, you have to be ready for almost anything.

I think the Bloor report is a good starting point in this regard. The paper dives into key factors to consider in assessing your data integration needs, including: flexibility, connectivity, productivity & agility, testing, and trust, plus factors of collaboration and scalability.

The best way to get great results, and a great return on your investment, is to pay attention to the broad range of tools and solutions you adopt, and to build a single data management architecture for the long term. You can’t just focus on whatever project is immediately at hand, but you also have to start thinking about standard platforms that drive productivity across a wide range of use cases in the long term, as well.  In that environment, new projects create new efficiency rather than introduce increased fragmentation.

The report looks at a number of vendors, and highlights Informatica in two areas especially relevant to the strategic importance of data integration: total cost of ownership and the sheer number of use cases we support. The report revisits information provided by 300 enterprises, and concludes that “Informatica’s data integration platform generally offered the best cost of ownership figures and, on average, was the most widely deployable across a range of use cases, providing extensive reuse of skills, tools, and code.”

Download the new Bloor Research white paper, “Comparative Costs and Uses for Data Integration Platforms in Agile Enterprises,” right now and start preparing your business for all its data challenges.

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