Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, XebiaLabs Blog, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo

Containers Expo Blog: Article

How Data Virtualization Improves Business Agility – Part 3

Optimize staff, infrastructure and integration approach for maximum ROI

While the benefits derived from greater business agility are significant, costs are also an important factor to consider. This is especially true in today's extremely competitive business environment and difficult economic times.

This article, the last in a series of three articles on how data virtualization delivers business agility, focuses on resource agility.

In Parts 1 and 2, business decision agility and time-to-solution agility were addressed.

Resource Agility Is a Key Enabler of Business Agility
In the recently published Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility, resource agility was identified as the third key element in an enterprise's business agility strategy, along with business decision agility and time-to-solution agility.

Data virtualization directly enables greater resource agility through superior developer productivity, lower infrastructure costs and better optimization of data integration solutions.

These factors combine to provide significant cost savings that can be applied flexibly to fund additional data integration activities and/or other business and IT projects.

Superior Developer Productivity Saves Personnel Costs
At 41% of the typical enterprise IT budget, personnel staffing expenses, including salaries, benefits and occupancy, represent the largest category of IT spending according to recently published analyst research. This spending is double that of both software and outsourcing, and two-and-a-half times that of hardware.

Not only are these staffing costs high in absolute terms, with data integration efforts often representing half the work in a typical IT development project, data integration developer productivity is critically important on a relative basis as well.

As described in Part 2 of this series, data virtualization uses a streamlined architecture and development approach. Not only does this improve time-to-solution agility, it also improves developer productivity in several ways.

  • First, data virtualization allows rapid, iterative development of views and data services. The development and deployment time savings associated with this development approach directly translate into lower staffing costs.
  • Second, the typically SQL-based views used in data virtualization are a well-understood IT paradigm. And the IDEs for building these views share common terminology and techniques with the IDEs for the most popular relational databases. The same can be said for data services and popular SOA IDEs. These factors make data virtualization easy for developers to learn and reduce training costs typically required when adopting new tools.
  • Third, graphically oriented IDEs simplify data virtualization solution development with significant built-in code generation and automatic query optimization. This enables less senior and lower cost development staff to build data integration solutions.
  • Fourth, the views and services built for one application can easily be reused across other applications. This further increases productivity and reduces staffing resource costs.

Better Asset Leverage Lowers Infrastructure Costs
Large enterprises typically have hundreds, if not thousands, of data sources. While these data assets can be leveraged to provide business decision agility, these returns come at a cost. Each source needs to be efficiently operated and managed and the data effectively governed. These ongoing infrastructure costs typically dwarf initial hardware and software implementation costs.

Traditional data integration approaches, where data is consolidated in data warehouses or marts, add to the overall number of data sources. This necessitates not only greater up-front capital expenditures, but also increased spending for ongoing operations and management. In addition, every new copy of the data introduces an opportunity for inconsistency and lower data quality.

Protecting against these inevitable issues is a non-value-added activity that further diverts critical resources. Finally, more sources equal more complexity. This means large, ongoing investments in coordination and synchronization activities.

These demands consume valuable resources that can be significantly reduced through the use of data virtualization. Because data virtualization requires fewer physical data repositories than traditional data integration approaches, enterprises that use data virtualization lower their capital expenditures as well as their operating, management and governance costs. In fact, many data virtualization users find these infrastructure savings alone can justify their entire investment in data virtualization technology.

Add Data Virtualization to Optimize Your Data Integration Portfolio
As a component of a broad data integration portfolio, data virtualization joins traditional data integration approaches such as data consolidation in the form of data warehouses and marts enabled by ETL as well as messaging and replication-based approaches that move data from one location to another.

Each of these approaches has strengths and limitations when addressing various business information needs, data source and consumer technologies, time-to-solution and resource agility requirements.

For example, a data warehouse approach to integration is often deployed when analyzing historical time-series data across multiple dimensions. Data virtualization is typically adopted to support one or more of the five popular data virtualization usage patterns:

  • BI data federation
  • Data warehouse extension
  • Enterprise data virtualization layer
  • Big data integration
  • Cloud data integration

Given the many information needs, integration challenges, and business agility objectives organizations have to juggle, each data integration approach added to the portfolio improves the organization's data integration flexibility and thus optimizes the ability to deliver effective data integration solutions.

With data virtualization in the integration portfolio, the organization can optimally mix and match physical and virtual integration methods based on the distinct requirements of a specific application's information needs, source data characteristics and other critical factors such as time-to-solution, data latency and total cost of ownership.

In addition, data virtualization provides the opportunity to refactor and optimize data models that are distributed across multiple applications and consolidated stores. For example, many enterprises use their BI tool's semantic layer and/or data warehouse schema to manage data definitions and models. Data virtualization provides the option to centralize this key functionality in the data virtualization layer. This can be especially useful in cases where the enterprise has several BI tools and/or multiple warehouses and marts, each with their own schemas and governance.

Conclusion
Data virtualization's streamlined architecture and development approach significantly improves developer productivity. Further, data virtualization requires fewer physical data repositories than traditional data integration approaches. This means that data virtualization users lower their capital expenditures as well as their operating, management and governance costs. Finally, adding data virtualization to the integration portfolio enables the optimization of physical and virtual integration methods.

These factors combine to provide significant cost savings that can be applied flexibly to fund additional data integration activities and/or other business and IT projects in the pursuit of business agility.

•   •   •

Editor's Note: Robert Eve is the co-author, along with Judith R. Davis, of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility, the first book published on the topic of data virtualization. This series of three articles on How Data Virtualization Delivers Business Agility includes excerpts from the book.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...