Today, companies across the globe are redefining their business models and seeking innovative ways to extract data, connect it and employ it for meaningful insights and learning. But for any enterprise to become intelligent, they should have the freedom to efficiently utilise all data they are creating and consuming to make smarter business decisions. The smart insights have to be entirely driven by data, not human judgement, or assumptions. This is precisely where the philosophy of Data Freedom comes in.
The concept of Data Freedom is about good-quality data being available within the enterprise in good quality, on an agile platform to all operational users. This includes IT and DevOps, analytical users like data scientists, decision-makers like business executives, and external users who are part of the business value chain.
Data Freedom is also about how enterprises can innovate the data state of an organisation as a whole, all the way from data processing to overall data management to align with the digital disruption. For instance, if sensor data is coming from IoT devices, organisations have to be on the lookout for how they can perform real-time processing and make insights available on the fly.
Data Freedom First Requires Data Transformation
One of the main aspects of achieving Data Freedom is the transformation of data itself as part of building an intelligent enterprise. When we look into data transformation, we are looking into two strategies- defensive and offensive. The defensive strategy deals with standardising data, optimising it and making it more secure whether it is data processing, data management or data storage.
On the other hand, the offensive strategy of data transformation deals with innovation and monetisation of the data. The following example can elaborate on this. Wipro- one of the leading IT services providers in the world- helped in overall savings of AUD 28M annually for a leading consumer electronics manufacturer by building a unified, scalable consumption platform. The platform which Wipro created helped in achieving effective marketing campaigns, churn and fraud management. This shows that if a data platform is available to all users in the enterprise, it can reap in significant benefits in cost and innovation.
Cloud Is At The Heart Of Data Freedom
Cloud has become the leading enabler of Data Freedom. No wonder, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.5 % in 2019 to massive $214.3 billion, up from $182.4 billion in 2018, according to Gartner. The fastest-growing market segment here is cloud system infrastructure services or infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
Cloud platforms make storage and processing capability accessible and impactful for all business users in a highly cost optimised manner as compared to on-prem infrastructure. Cloud also makes innovation a level-playing field for all tech companies and empower an entire ecosystem of SaaS startups which are available on the cloud. According to experts, the freedom of business customisation like upscaling, downscaling, server-less cannot be accomplished without utilising the flexibility of the cloud.
For democratisation and monetisation of data, cloud, therefore, becomes key. Unless enterprises leverage cloud, their services may not be to perform massive-scale and complex computing needed for Industry 4.0 services. Cloud also becomes a cost factor plus capability factor to power Data Freedom.
Creating A Cloud-Native Architecture
According to experts, the first step is to make systems cloud-enabled through migration. Once a business migrates, then the second approach is to make the business cloud-centric, which is around putting data on the cloud. Migration and making the organisation cloud-centric includes looking into data stores, whether it is transactional data, operational data or analytical data.
Businesses also have documents, weblogs and a bunch of file stores for various reporting and policy verifications. So, what companies need is factoring the ETL pipeline and refactor data consumption from all business processes. Data could be anywhere in structured databases or unstructured databases, in-memory databases, columnar databases, graph database, traditional, NoSQL databases, big data ecosystems, etc.
Finally, an effective cloud strategy entails innovating by creating a complete cloud-native architecture for Data Freedom. Here, it’s about working with big cloud service providers to utilise the best of the capability on data processing and insight generation on the unified cloud platform.
Achieving AI Infusion At Scale
There is more data generated in the last two years than the complete history of human civilisation, and this is leading to fast-evolving AI innovation where enterprises creating profound capacities dependent on data that they possess. In any case, the difficulties with respect to scalability and adoption perpetually hamper enterprise journey towards becoming an AI-infused organisation. To build, AI-powered transformation, is it just about the right technology tools or is there something which is substantially more noteworthy in play?
The need for businesses is to have intelligent systems which can assist them with accomplishing AI infusion at scale— something which is incredibly challenging to achieve. Digging deep, we can find that there are only a handful of solutions that exist in the market, which can infuse AI efficiently across the complex business value chains.
One such example is Wipro’s Intelligent Data Platform which delivers an infusion of AI/ML with all the data at speed and scale for faster and intelligent insights through its Next-Gen Data Warehouse and Data Lake. Cloud Data Pods, a cloud-agnostic studio powered by Wipro’s solutions and IP also provides best-in-class customer experiences in delivering entire value chain of data to decision. Such solutions can add tremendous value by leveraging data transformation and infusing analytics in each process of a business unit.
The road to Data Freedom is enabling such a unified platform on the cloud where business users can search all the attributes with centralised enterprise search capability. This entails that all enterprises moving into a scalable, highly flexible and common platform to provide a free environment without data security constraints. With all the data on one cloud platform, it’s time to leverage the power of advanced analytics and AI.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.