Five data predictions

By Rex Ahlstrom, CTO, EVP Innovation and Growth at Syniti.

  • 1 year ago Posted in

Prediction 1: Data catalogs and other data management tools will become obsolete unless part of a larger platform play

A number of years back, Gartner proclaimed that data catalogs were “the new black” when it came to data management and analytics. What we’re seeing is the move beyond simple taxonomies to ontologies, which is really understanding the classes of relationships and the structure of data and rules – and how you establish constraints around how the data is managed. Companies have been implementing these things in pockets, but it’s often in siloes and not spread across the lines of business. 

For this reason, individual tools that only perform one function will not be enough to solve the growing challenges in data management. Expect to see long-standing leaders falling behind and innovators taking the lead this coming year. 

Prediction 2: More organisations will move from a data mesh architecture to a data fabric approach 

Data mesh architecture is a strategy of decentralising the data – with a goal of establishing coherence between different business domains. It tends to involve subject matter experts in data who are going in, tagging information, designing rules and understanding who the contributors are, to try to create a better awareness of how to consume data at a business level or what’s happening within your data that may be impacting your business. 

By contrast, a data fabric approach is more automated. It’s going to use artificial intelligence / machine learning and it’s not reliant on highly experienced data scientists. This design pattern is going to be increasingly important for companies to start adopting and that’s definitely the direction I see things headed. If you’re not moving toward an automated approach, you’re not going to be able to keep up and you won’t be able to unlock all the potential value in your systems and data. 

Prediction 3: Cloud data management takes on outsized importance

There is way more opportunity for businesses seeking to eliminate legacy data management products now that more solutions are becoming cloud-native. They’re designed for extensibility and integration and create opportunities to build a “best of breed” solution set that matches the exact needs of the customer. 

When we think about all of the individual parts – cloud infrastructure, integration, data lakes, analytics platforms, etc. – customers increasingly want to look at how to combine these functions between strategic application providers and their cloud platform providers. 

The ability to extend core applications with rich functionality beyond infrastructure, will ensure the move delivers the highest business outcome possible. So, platform, applications and tools that can accelerate this integration and expansion – or help make it faster and easier – will be in higher demand. 

Prediction 4: Demand for data observability will grow

When it comes to data and data migration, there are a ton of moving parts. There may be multiple application vendors and multiple cloud providers. To grapple with all this, you need a better understanding of the health of the data in your systems and the impact that health, good or bad, has on your business. Data observability helps you assess data health and the ability to troubleshoot and fix problems before things get worse. 

If you’re not empowering your teams to truly understand the impact data is having on their business, and the tools to address those issues, you’re going to be inefficient, and you’ll be spending more than you should. That’s why I see this as being a growing trend for 2023.

Prediction 5: Customers will demand their vendors prove tangible business impact 

If all you can talk about are software features and how your features compare to another product’s features, then you’re not delivering any value to your customer. You must be able to show the business impact that software will have on the business, and the ROI associated with its implementation. If you can’t draw a clear line to real value, you’re not going to sell your software.

However, when faced with economic uncertainties, most companies will look at solutions that help cut costs, improve efficiency and streamline business operations. This is why showing tangible business impacts will be a cornerstone in most enterprise software buying decisions.

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