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What is Data Fabric? Why it Should be Part your Company Technology Strategy.

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

Anthony Maiello, CEO, CTO

August 22 2022

Like many technology disruptions we have seen over the years (for example "Digital Transformation"), the term "data fabric" has joined the array of data management and analytics buzzwords. So much so that Gartner now identifies "data fabric" as one of the "Top 10 Data and Analytics technology Trends". As with the past set of buzzwords, you may be wondering "what is data fabric?" and "Why do I need it in my technology strategy?"

You can go ahead and "google" the definition of data fabric - I think we all know this already. But let's not let buzzwords and marketing jargon blur the true importance of this technology. At its' core, data fabric is important because it has the potential to significantly reduce data management efforts by providing new ways to integrate data sources across multiple disparate platforms and users - this is really important! This is especially useful when it comes to Internet of Things (IoT) and Edge computing as its' human and machine capabilities can figure out where data should stored, used or changed in a very distributed system of devices.

Data Challenges For Growing Companies

As a leader of your company, you may have an array of different types of data stashed in so many different types of databases and feel you're losing control (or lost control) of your data and wondering if its accurate or reliable anymore. You may have your technology managers requesting to bring in people with "specialized data science skills" to help extract and integrate data across your disparate systems so it can be trusted and usable again. Is this necessary?

We see many roadblocks across different organizations when it comes to digitization and integration efforts. As organizations grow and add capabilities (and more data), they want to go fast to deliver the new features which sometimes causes "silos" of applications and data to evolve - usually unintentional. This becomes a significant roadblock for companies to scale and trust the data as sharing data across disparate systems become cumbersome, buggy, and expensive - sometimes simply impossible. And the more these organizations "grow" in new features and functions, the worse this problem gets. Furthermore, any such "common sense" activities such as migrating to the cloud becomes expensive and difficult usually ending in failure and lost revenue. Simply hiring "data science" experts may not help and could add to the expense and problems.

The Solution - Holistic Technology Strategy Identifying where Data Fabric should be Incorporated

Like most articles and posts supporting a specific technology, I will say data fabric will help you if you're experiencing the challenges noted above with your data and disparate systems. As the definition states, data fabric is scalable and can manage the collection, governance, integration and sharing of data - even across disparate systems and technologies. But it MUST be planned and implemented correctly to realistically help transform your company into a digital leader and differentiator.

But, like all other technology disruption buzzwords in the past, there are many "data fabric" solutions out there who claim to have all the answers, easy to roll out and so on - for example SAP, Atlan, IBM, TIBCO and many more. Many of these solutions work well - all with "pros" and "cons". In the end, your company's existing technology and business objectives are unique and require an all encompassing technology strategy that is actionable, holistic and measurable. The data fabric side of things should not be a buzz word or a checkbox that your strategy covers. It needs to realistically be integrated into your plan and provide a roadmap to help stitch together various data tools with a consistent set of capabilities and functionality allowing you to empower your data modeling process. The KPIs need to be consistent and reliable access to scalable, hybrid cloud data services setting the foundation for better business visibility, insights, improved security, and enhanced data access.

How VNCTech Group Can Help

At VNCTech Group, we help our clients by providing data-driven technology strategies because we believe that companies must become data-driven to compete, thrive and be successful. We know data drives competitive advantage for every business to succeed and thrive. We know companies need the right data quickly and it needs to be accurate and useful. This is why we have recognized data fabric as a technology disruptor and an opportunity for our clients to obtain the value they should expect from their data and nothing less. Value comes in a variety of forms from creating new revenue to reducing costs and so on. Hence we always consider data fabric options (as a product agnostic advisor) while helping our clients develop their technology strategy.

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