Today, up to 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created by humans, edge, IoT devices, and machines, writes Jigyasa Singh, Technology Managing Director for Accenture in Africa. This volume of data and the pace of its accumulation can only accelerate in the future.
Companies that harness data to derive are differentiating themselves. They drive business outcomes by generating deeper insights that inspire innovation, more intelligent decision-making, and more efficient operations.
However, to handle high volume and variety of data from many disparate sources, you need a modern cloud data foundation. It makes data accessible, trustworthy, and analysis-ready at speed and scale.
The modern cloud data foundation
For most companies, the power of data is constrained by an inadequate or non-existent data foundation. As a result, data is locked in legacy, on-premise platforms that are often siloed, making it difficult, if not impossible, to get different types of data to work together. It makes it even harder for business users to find and consume all the correct data they need to arrive at the appropriate decisions.
Deriving the desired business value from data requires the data foundation to be modernised – enabling data to be broken out of legacy silos to be unified in the cloud, across different dimensions, and processed with cutting-edge analytical tools. This requires the correct storage, the suitable warehouses, the right compute, and access – all in the cloud – to enable agile data capabilities that drive business outcomes.
A modern data foundation has three core characteristics: modern data engineering, AI-assisted data governance, and data democratisation. Together, these characteristics help companies overcome some of the most common barriers to value: data accessibility, data trustworthiness, data readiness, and timeliness. They enable you to blend data from different sources in real-time, build agile reporting, and leverage analytics and AI to create a more broadly accessible customer, market, and operational insights that deliver meaningful business outcomes.
Three steps to transform data on cloud
Thoughtful planning and prioritisation can go a long way to simplifying the many choices to be made. Teaming up with an experienced partner knowledgeable in the complexities of the journey can accelerate the development of your modern data foundation and, ultimately, the value derived from it. In our recent study, “lighting the way with data on the cloud”, we detail three steps to get started. Below is a quick summary of each step:
STEP 01: Set the Stage
• Assess your current data maturity and capability to understand strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and opportunities
• Develop a comprehensive data strategy aligned with your business strategy
• Select CSP(s)
• Develop the appropriate architecture and roadmap
STEP 02: Make the Move, Migrate and Modernise
• Stand up cloud services
• Build your data foundation
• Migrate, as needed, from on-prem
• Build, as required, new data products
STEP 03: Operate and Optimise
• Automate data governance
• Infuse AI/ML into data management
• Automate processes for data operation (dev ops/sec ops)
Modern data on cloud in action
A multi-national quick service restaurant needed to build a cloud data platform across vendors to provide the franchisees with insights on their people. They wanted to drive operational improvements and enable business growth, allow its human resources team to quickly and securely access people data at scale while establishing a legal separation between the company’s data and that of its franchisees.
They migrated legacy data using a “lift & shift” approach and consolidated more than 14 disparate source systems into a scalable, cloud-native data foundation. They built a metadata-driven ingestion framework using native Spark to onboard data without custom coding to create robust quality reporting. Today, they have an enterprise people platform with cross-domain data capturing all aspects of employee hiring, training, day-to-day operations, wages, and retention. The solution handles half a billion records of data from over 30,000+ restaurants daily.
It also helps to connect the dots on employee hiring, training, satisfaction, stores performance metrics, and understanding the impact of employee turnover on business profit and loss.
Conclusion: Accelerate your intelligent data journey
You can unearth the most fertile ground for exponential value when you leverage data to reinvent your business, develop new industry business models, apply advanced technologies, and drive new levels of value through your partner ecosystem. Remember, data’s worth depends on its accessibility and application. To harness the power of data, companies should first take steps to modernise their data foundation in the cloud so customers, suppliers, and employees can operate with data at their fingertips.
If you want your company to operate with speed, agility, and scale, empower human ingenuity, enrich customer relationships, tap into new markets and compete effectively, now is the time to embrace a modern data foundation on the cloud. In short, modernising your data foundation and running your data, associated processes, and consumption workloads on the cloud is the key to transforming your business to grow, innovate and generate sustainable value.