Keeping a business moving forward in the data age requires an innate ability to adapt and overcome, sometimes in the most extraordinary circumstances. The incredible events of the last 18 months or so are an object lesson in that department.
Organizations have to be ever-aware of and receptive to changing market conditions, responsive to shifting customer needs and expectations, and open to emerging commercial opportunities and ways of working.
That kind of agility and openness doesn’t happen by accident or sheer force of will, however. It is built upon truly flexible digital foundations, a strong but agile cloud-driven data platform that will bend, grow and mature in line with business needs. Such a platform must flex to meet new opportunities and help your innovators channel their ideas into new revenue streams.
This cloud-driven data platform should also be fast, fluid and nimble: strong enough to lock down your most sensitive data, but agile enough to integrate insight and analytics in multiple ways and cultivate answers to every business challenge. It should be always ready to follow the business.
Why choose a platform that is specifically cloud-driven? There are any number of reasons, but they all boil down to one essential truth: Traditional, on-premises databases simply don’t and can’t provide the innate agility required to get new business practices off the ground. They’re too fixed, too “closed,” too big and unwieldy.
The best one can say about traditional databases is that they faithfully represent the business decisions made at specific points in time. In other words, most were built for another age, another way of working. Asking them to perform adequately in the data age is a little like treating a grandfather clock like a smartphone. Sure, it will tell you the time, but you’d hardly expect it to automatically adjust for daylight savings time or remind you when the pasta’s done.
Similarly, your monolithic database isn’t going to help you spot time-sensitive new opportunities that promise big returns. It won’t help you experiment and try out a few potential revenue routes to see which serve you best, or help you scale operations or trim expenses.
From Old School to New World
On the other hand, retiring your old database — which has likely been delivering critical services and ingesting data for years — and making the move to a modern solution can feel like a daunting prospect.
Transferring all that to a new cloud or multicloud environment is likely to be a long, complex, delicate process. You’ll probably need help to round up and reformat all that on-premises data, and then decide where it should reside so that it’s accessible, available, and able to deliver insight when and wherever it’s needed. And quickly. Lots of web development and new artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and data science projects need fast access to data.
That’s where true, cloud-native databases like MongoDB and MongoDB Atlas, the hosted database-as-service offering across public clouds, are invaluable. If you’ve given it a try, you’ll know MongoDB Atlas shines because it offers a way to take the data embedded in your legacy databases and seed it into an environment in which microservices can flourish. Because it is non-relational (NoSQL), with dynamic schemas for unstructured data, Atlas automatically scales to support increases in data volume and demand, which gives you the flexibility to add more nodes whenever you need to. You no longer have to deploy a whole new database for every new service or application.
But there’s more to think about. Simply dragging data from one location to another without properly considering data structure won’t release the new platform’s full value. And that’s where Hitachi Vantara comes in. With solutions like Hitachi’s Lumada portfolio and its Pentaho products, you can build a data pipeline across MongoDB. Use the pipeline to maintain lineage, and change data capture and data fabric between on-premises data and data in the cloud, for a truly flexible data environment – one that we call a modern “data fabric.”
More Baskets for Your Eggs
Such a data fabric helps avoid vendor lock-in and frees you to move and integrate data easily between different cloud repositories.
As such, Lumada might be described as the glue that securely connects and integrates your chosen data solutions. It allows you to pick and choose the right cloud environments for each specific use case, to safely scale your business. You gain more time to focus on identifying new revenue streams and opportunities, and accelerating growth.
Innovate Faster, Compete Harder
This was the experience enjoyed by one European water utility company that serves a number of key metropolitan cities. For years its customers had been experiencing poor, unpredictable levels of service, and had started moving to other providers as a result. Moreover, it simply didn’t have the customer trust to implement any new business ideas with any guarantee of success.
Deploying Lumada’s edge-intelligent capabilities in harness with MongoDB Atlas, the company reorganized and optimized its data on a fully flexible data fabric. The results were transformative. It is now able to support predictive maintenance. Its infrastructure, performance and end-user services have all dramatically improved. And it can now identify areas that need attention before they become an issue, as well as proactively deploy mechanics to service them.
Data: The Lifeblood of Business
It is a simple and increasingly repeated fact that the success of most businesses today comes down to the quality and accessibility of their data. But there is more to it than that. Data has become the lifeblood of the enterprise. It is the lingua franca and the true currency behind your applications and services — the fuel for the outcomes for which you strive.
That’s why it has become so critical to ensure your data is fit for purpose and supports innovation. It is essential to focus on how you migrate your data, optimize it and mine it for deeper insight. And that’s where we can help you not only get off the ground, but also truly fly.
To explore bigger possibilities, join us at MongoDB.LIVE, July 13-14, 2021.
Shishir Agarwal is Vice President of IOT and Analytics at Hitachi Vantara.