Every business wants to do more with their data. At the same time, terms like digital transformation, big data and service-orientated technology have been flung around for so many years, it can be difficult to understand their real-world value.
Instead, we should focus on what we want to achieve. When I hear the phrase ‘digital transformation’ from a company, that tells me they want to create better user experiences. When a company talks about big data, I see a business that wants to improve how they collect, analyse and use data. Service-orientated technology is a little more technical and covers distributed computing, but the result is a company that can develop, release, iterate and maintain software faster and with more agility.
Making data the star
Using data in this way involves making use of cloud computing. Rather than simply lifting everything into the cloud, you can now make use of ‘cloud-native’ services that can take advantage of new and more dynamic environments. We’re moving away from the hardware world of racking up servers and bringing up ports to having large scale infrastructure and this mesh is communicating with each other. Each of these elements has layers and they are all being watched, maintained, monitored and secured.
However, we have to go further than this. For developers, they could care less about individual infrastructure elements, even if they can deliver scale and availability for their applications. Instead, we should be looking at how to make it even easier to work with data over time. How can new features be delivered in a single sprint and not in months.
This involves another layer of abstraction, but by using automation we can make it easier for everyone to work with data, rather than having to understand and run the databases themselves.
It may be easier to think of this