Way back when
First, a little history: I have over a decade’s worth of IT experience mainly focused in the data and analytics space. And while this may not seem like much experience compared to other industries, to make a straight apples-to-apples comparison would not make sense considering how fast technology moves. In fact, I’ve heard the conversion ratio is 3 years’ experience in IT is equivalent to 1 year experience outside of IT. This may be hear-say, but I tend to agree with this ratio considering when I go on vacation for a week I feel like I’m a month behind.
Within the span of a decade, I have come across a lot of different technologies to say the least and one of them, of course, was Infomatica PowerCenter. This tool is an integration developer’s dream come true with its metadata manager and data lineage repository. Ah…bliss!
Over the years, however, as technology evolved into the cloud and almost everything became service-oriented, I slowly started forgetting about my Informatica PowerCenter. This was in part due to the expensive on-premises server setup and exhaustive configuration settings needed before one piece of code could be written. Given today’s modern platforms, the bulky setup and use of Informatica didn’t seem viable anymore. From my standpoint, it looked like they had given up innovating (and we all know what happens when companies fail to innovate…).
Fast forward to 2017 and the Informatica MDM360 Summit. Nothing I saw was what I had expected from Informatica — in fact, it was lightyears ahead! Starting with Anil Chakravarthy’s, CEO of Informatica, keynote about Data 3.0 and how data is doubling every 2 years thanks to IOT. Because of this, over 40% of the world’s data will be in the cloud by 2020! Using these figures, Chakravarthy made a substantial case around why Informatica, like Microsoft and Amazon, are not only charging into the cloud, they are leading it.
Not only was Chakravarthy’s speech motivating and making me curious about what else Informatica has up its sleeve, but it also piqued my interest around 2 main areas Informatica is placing big bets: Cloud and Data Governance.
The evolution of cloud has been nothing short of amazing. What took us months or even years to compute now takes a matter of days or minutes. Companies who used to loath the idea about moving to the cloud are now advancing their business into it.
Coming out of the Summit, I realized that Informatica has observed this trend and they are making products that make the cloud experience better. The Intelligent Data Lake, or IDL, was one such product. It takes the data lake concept and builds upon it by providing data cataloging, searching, lineage, preparation, and curation of data. These tasks by themselves used to be process and technology heavy. Now, they are effortless thanks to the Informatica Cloud.
If you have ever been involved in a Data Governance Organization, or DGO, then you know how laborious, cumbersome, and tiring it can be. From setting up the organization, establishing processes, defining data elements and entry requirements, and taking out time to schedule governance meetings, I get stressed just thinking about it. There must be a better way!
Luckily, Informatica announced the purchase of a company called Diaku which helps to automate much of the way DGO works. Informatica rebranded Diaku’s product to Axon and included it as part of their Informatica Cloud offering. Now, couple Axon with IDL in the cloud, and you can successfully integrate data into a data warehouse and stand up a DGO within your business in a fraction of the time it would take to do the same tasks on-premises using multiple technologies. Bliss achieved yet again.
The fact that Informatica is placing bets on the cloud is one of the smartest moves any company can make in today’s modern marketplace. Better still is the fact that Informatica is approaching their products using the all too familiar service model which allows businesses to purchase Informatica products as needed.
But where are they going with all of this innovation? Chakravarthy put it simply:
It’s all about the customer — not the data
In my role as a data management professional at Slalom, this statement could not have resonated more with me. The ability for me to convey what I do and how I help people and organizations is at the very core of what I do, and this is all done before we even talk technology. Informatica has the same approach by putting the focus on the customer — what their needs are and how they can service them better. In my opinion, this is a successful strategy and one that will continue for many years to come as the cloud continues to evolve and make everyone’s lives better.