Enterprises: data integration is key, but challenges abound
By Deon Ballard, Principal product marketing manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Market disruptions driven by advanced technologies, increased competition from startups, increasingly savvy and more demanding customers — these are just some of the more visible pressures companies face today. To help relieve those pressures and remain competitive, companies are trying to accelerate their ability to deliver innovative products and services.
In this way, apps and data across multiple systems can work together more quickly and seamlessly.
This requires the ability to make changes to business models, processes, and applications more quickly, as needed. One way to make those changes is to combines integration technologies, Agile delivery techniques, and cloud-native platforms. In this way, apps and data across multiple systems can work together more quickly and seamlessly.
Data, the linchpin
Data is considered a linchpin, and a challenge, in companies’ ongoing integration efforts that are central to their top IT priorities such as emerging technology initiatives and public cloud adoption. In fact, many of the obstacles companies face revolve around data, and those challenges are shifting.
This is one of the takeaways of Red Hat’s survey of decision makers including IT architects, developers, managers, directors, and C-level executives. The research helps to characterize how the market operates in relation to data integration and where organizations are in their use of agile processes. It also delineates differences between technical and business users when it comes to these topics.
A majority (79 percent) of survey respondents said they are familiar with data integration. When respondents were asked to define integration, they tended to focus on a unified view of data, saying things like integration is “a way to see data from different places in the same way from one common means.”
The survey found that the main reason companies adopt any type of integration approach is due to digital transformation initiatives and data management. Breaking down the numbers, 25 percent of respondents said that their primary motivation for adopting integration technologies was their digital transformation initiatives, while another 23 percent pointed to data management. (Within the survey, multiple responses were allowed.)
It also found that among respondents, the top reason for using data integration is to improve data integrity and increase operational efficiency. In fact, 69 percent said their reason to use data integration was to improve integrity.
However, data integrity remains a challenge. Respondents pointed to security concerns, conflicting data and schema issues, and difficulties in connecting to legacy systems and being able to transform legacy data formats. Many also mentioned collaboration among teams and between IT and business units when asked about data integration challenges.
Improving data integrity wasn’t the only standout for respondents’ use of data integration. Sixty-four percent said they are using data integration to improve operational efficiency, while 56 percent pointed to faster analytics. And 50 percent said they are using data integration to inform business strategy. (Again, respondents were able to choose all responses that apply.)
While the survey clearly illustrates the important role data — and data integration — is having in helping companies navigate their complex and ever-changing market dynamics, their specific reasons for leveraging integration vary. This makes sense, considering that the substance of the data is critical to business — and incoming data and business insights will be unique to every business and their specific business and digital strategies.