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January 25, 2019

5 Ways an Enterprise Data Layer Drives Innovation

Jonathan Lacefield


Innovation is critical to the success of any organization. In the enterprise, the introduction and development of enterprise data layers are instrumental in driving innovation and business agility, but not in the way some people think.

You can’t expect to come up with a single product, no matter how amazing it is, and have it stick around forever. There’s always someone working on trying to do it better, and there’s always someone trying to build something that makes you irrelevant – or at the very least, outdated.

That being the case, forward-thinking enterprises need to do everything they can to encourage innovation throughout the organization. As mentioned previously, one way to do that is by leveraging an enterprise data layer that provides the speed, reliability, scalability, and agility needed to thrive in today’s complex business landscape.

Here are the five main ways an enterprise data layer drives innovation in today’s modern enterprise:

1. Increasing productivity

Put all your data and applications in the same cloud environment and you may lose access to both of them in the event your cloud provider experiences an outage.

On the flipside, with a modern enterprise data layer, you are given complete control of your data. With real-time replication capabilities in place, you can ensure your employees are able to access the data and apps they need to do their jobs from any connected device at any time.

A modern enterprise data layer gives you data autonomy, or the ability to retain complete control over your data no matter where it resides. As a result, organizational productivity increases, accelerating innovation and helping your team bring products to market faster.

2. Ensuring Compliance

To mitigate risks and reduce potential litigation expenses, organizations must comply with external regulations (e.g., HIPAA, SOX, and GDPR) as well as the internal policies these regulations create.

(Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock)

A modern enterprise data layer makes this compliance much easier to achieve. The technology enables organizations to get a 360-degree view of every interaction as it happens, making it that much easier to meet compliance requirements. With less possibility of risk and the potential fines that come with it, organizations have more resources to invest in innovation.

3. Delivering Personalized Experiences

According to a recent study, 80% of customers are more likely to do business with a brand that delivers personalized experiences.

Because the technology helps uncover relationships between disparate data sets—even if they’re stored in different formats—a modern enterprise data layer makes personalization easy. In theory, this will translate into more sales—and more resources that can be used to support innovation.

Personalization is also important from the employee perspective. When apps are personalized, workers are able to get more done in less time because the tools and data they need are always readily available—instead of hidden somewhere deep in an app.

4. Increasing Business Agility

The right enterprise data layer enables organizations to leverage the benefits of each cloud provider—instead of partnering with a sole provider and being forced to use what they do well and what they don’t do so well.

This, of course, translates into increased business agility, giving enterprises the ability to pivot quickly as market dynamics and business needs shift.

You might think that moving to a multi-cloud environment brings with it another slate of problems (e.g., data silos), but you’d be wrong. With a modern enterprise data layer in place, silos are eliminated, giving organizations the real-time insights they need to make the best decisions quickly.

5. Driving Competitive Advantage

An enterprise data layer offers a multitude of benefits to growing enterprises and helps them stay ahead of the increasing demands of effective data management. It is critical for operating effectively and efficiently in a hybrid cloud or multi-cloud world.

In today’s fast-paced business world, you never know when a new transformative technology will come to market. When that happens, the last place you want to be is locked in to a vendor’s infrastructure without any options at your disposal.

With an enterprise data layer in place, organizations can stay ahead of their competitors by moving to new solutions as their needs change. This gives them the flexibility necessary to store, run, and process data in the most beneficial kind of environment, enabling them to move faster and innovate quicker.

How the Data Layer Lives Up to Its Promise

Innovation in today’s rapidly changing and ever-more-demanding business environment really comes from being able to adapt quickly and tap into the full potential of your data.

As enterprises work with their hybrid cloud architecture, they need an enterprise data layer that can sit on top all of their multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architecture. This data layer ensures that enterprises can address three major concerns that hybrid clouds naturally create, such as cloud vendor lock-in, data silos and rapid application development.

An enterprise data layer provides all the operational, or transactional, data in a single logical layer that is highly distributed and highly secure, delivering the data and ingesting massive amounts of writes, all in real time. With this architecture, enterprises can deploy part of the data layer on premise, part of it in one public cloud, and part of it in another public cloud. Enterprises can also move the data in and out of any cloud at any time, with no downtime or re-writing of their applications.

About the author: Jonathan Lacefield is a senior director of product management at DataStax. Jonathan has spent the majority of his career helping enterprise and start-up organizations form and execute data-centric, technical strategies, and is now leading the enterprise adoption of DataStax’s NoSQL database platform, which is based on Apache Cassandra.

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