Every company these days has at least one thing in common: they rely on data to stay competitive. It doesn’t matter what industry it is or what kind of approach your company takes, without access to its own data at a moment’s notice, there’s no way it will be profitable for long. Unfortunately, most companies don’t seem to know this. They tend to give very little thought to this at all. Instead, they focus on things like marketing and sales funnels. While those elements are certainly very important for the future of any organization, something like data virtualization will play as big, if not bigger, a role.
What Is Data Virtualization?
Let’s start with the obvious question, as many people may not have heard about this new and important technology yet. Data virtualization simply refers to a very specific form of data management.
Every company that produces information has to have a reliable method for managing it. Unfortunately, the approach most organizations take is outdated, to say the least. They might not even know it.
Virtualization is the most recent version and, by far, the most powerful. It allows any application to retrieve necessary data and then manipulate it as the user requires. The real innovation, though, is that the software can carry out this entire process without the need for technical details before proceeding. You don’t have to input or otherwise find how a piece of data was formatted or where in the mainframe it was located.
In this way, it’s almost as easy to use as your basic search engine. Yet, the information you can find within your digital infrastructure is not something you could simply Google.
Alright, now that you understand this part, you may be wondering what makes it so important. Why do you have to take data management to this level? Why isn’t the traditional method you’re using just fine?
Outdated Data Management Methods Are Costly
It might not seem like it, but data management takes a lot of work. Just like anything else that takes a lot of work, then, it comes with pretty significant overhead. If you’re not using virtualization, your data management efforts are definitely taking a pretty serious bite out of your budget.
For one thing, you’re most likely physically moving that data throughout the mainframe, if that’s even an option. Aside from simply being a very cumbersome way of handling data, it’s going to take longer than necessary and, over time, stack up the expenses.
This doesn’t even begin to cover the opportunity cost of using outdated methods. Think about how this impacts your company’s output. Data is necessary for everything from market research to carrying out basic transactions. Aren’t those tasks important enough to put every asset possible behind them?
Often These Approaches Don’t Even Work
What’s even more unfortunate is that outdated methods usually don’t even work. You may have employees doing their best to use them only to come up empty-handed. As a result, they may be going without necessary information, even when it’s required for vital measures. Other times, they may be producing their own, awkward workarounds to get the information they need, which even if successful, could be costing your company more than you’d like to think about.
There’s no excuse to go without the data your company needs, especially when it’s sitting right on top of it. It’s a huge waste of money, too, to produce this information and then never properly use it.
Break this cycle by investing in virtualization software. Your employees will have a much easier time doing their job. Your customers will get what they want. Most importantly, your company will outperform itself year after year.
Customers Want Virtualization
Speaking of customers, rest assured that they would prefer you switch to data virtualization too. Are they familiar with the concept? No, probably not. However, they most likely know what the results look like.
Let’s take a look at two examples. One would simply be a customer who wants information about your company, a certain product/service or just their account. Imagine what they’ll think when your customer representative has to tell them that they don’t know where it is or how to access it. Not exactly confidence-inducing, is it? Do you think they’ll remain a customer much longer?
In the other scenario, the customer is just trying to purchase from you or otherwise go through with a transaction, but they can’t because the process requires certain data. Do they know that the problem is that you’re not applying a virtualization application toward this goal? No, all they know is that they can’t go through with whatever it is they want to do. Again, how long do you think they’ll stick with your company?
What Good Virtualization Software Looks Like
Hopefully, you now understand why virtualization isn’t an option any longer. You might get away without using it for another year or so, but as we covered above, Big Data will soon put that to an end.
This means you’ll soon be in the market looking for a virtualization platform. Given how much this software can do, don’t be surprised when you find that there are a number of titles to select from.
For best results, though, you want one that will actually be able to work with your mainframe. You want a platform that can leverage this resource by turning it into a data virtualization platform. Not only will this save you money and give you even more bang for your buck, it will also provide you with a much more powerful solution overall.
You’ll also want a title that gives you plenty in the way of scalability. The only reliable way to do this is by getting rid of point-to-point integration and all the redundancy that goes along with it. Not only will this make it easier to scale when the time comes, but you’ll find it’s much more manageable too.
Thanks to data virtualization, every company can enjoy the full potential of all the information they create and store.
Does your business rely on data virtualization?
Originally published Sep 09, 2015, updated Jul 19, 2021