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Building an Enterprise Data Hub with Proper Data Integration

Sergey Pavlov, CTO, Artezio

Integrate data across the enterprise for 360-degree view of the customer

There are two main aspects of proper data integration. The first one is pure technical – a correctly selected integration tool, which can provide scalable and seamless communication of all enterprise systems. Such a tool should conform to the existing enterprise infrastructure; it should have enough performance and provide real-time information exchange.

“Data consistency and traceability can be implemented by correct data exchange design, starting with a solid master data management system”

Conformation to the existing infrastructure is an important aspect when choosing a solution. Challenges that will inevitably arise when implementing new data integration software, that doesn’t conform to the technological environment of the company, can result in significant cost increases and delays in the implementation of the project.

Sufficient performance is another required solution quality. There’s no need to pay for a product that can’t process large amounts of data rapidly.

The last point (real-time information exchange) is critical for the second aspect – data consistency and traceability. This aspect can be implemented by correct data exchange design starting with a solid master data management system and ending with all particularities of the systems to be integrated.

An organization has to be prepared for a 360 degree view, or investments will be spent for nothing. Right people should work with right data instantly, not from time to time. Training sessions have to be held on a continuous basis to support system and data complexity growth.

Big Data gets all the attention

As we focus on software development, we should actually be familiar with the maximum number of technologies. However, today much attention is given to Big Data. The amount of data produced by each user grows exponentially – nowadays B2B, B2C, personal mobile, IoT applications generate large amounts of data, which should not only be saved, but treated as well to provide each user with personalized service and a vendor with comprehensive knowledge about application use.

Talking about the software development technologies, we should definitely pay attention to Azure services. Microsoft Azure technology uses two popular cloud models at once – and infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which allows it to satisfy all possible users’ needs.

These days, Azure services are widely used by many companies, especially by small and medium enterprises. And this is clear why: Azure services are flexible, safe, and deployment process is as simple as in-house server deployment. At the same time, Azure is one of the most powerful and scalable platforms for Windows hosting, with an affordable and flexible pricing model, attractive to any business size.

Tech Trends to watch

Big Data and cloud technologies are our priority technology trends. Big Data help process large amounts of data and that allows taking the right management decisions. Although many companies are still uncertain how to apply these data, I think that Big Data will be in great demand within the next 5 years.

If we take specific Big Data technologies, I would pay special attention to Azure data warehousing and its analytical components. NoSQL is gaining popularity as means of fast appeal to data, so, we are spending a lot of effort to dig up highs and lows of Azure NoSQL technologies like DocumentDB, Table storage, HBase, and HDInsight.

Cloud products are not less popular, though CIOs from other segments are a bit afraid of applying them in their companies, and the reason for that is quite obvious. The technology is rather young, therefore, there are worries about safety issues. But I am sure, the fear will disappear in the near future, and executives will see the advantages of cloud solutions, such as cutting expenses for technology infrastructure, increase of productivity without increasing the staff, no need in purchasing a lot of license software, enhanced flexibility, quick deployment, etc.

Besides, the market of cloud platforms is developing rapidly, and many companies offer more and more new products in the field of private, public, and hybrid clouds.

NET Technology for Business Applications

We have a number of in-house projects with the use of .NET technologies. Some of them are released as products, so that anyone can use them for his own needs. Among them I would specify such product as Artezio Diagram Designer that allows drawing various charts. It was specifically developed for Windows tablets. As for SharePoint 2013, which is widely used in our business environment, Artezio has developed a number of apps. These products have fitted well into our environment and allowed significantly simplifying a number of business processes.

Switching to .NET Framework

We have been engaged in the development of .NET solutions since 2000. Each of our offices located in different cities and countries has its own team working on development of .NET solutions.

When switching to .NET solutions and setting up a dedicated team, I would recommend to use services of a professional team which will provide you with the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) delivery model. In this case, the company will offer you a software development center (SDC), will operate it, and finally transfer it to you. Moreover, you shouldn't bother about search of employees, creation of the IT infrastructure, and you will manage projects under your requirements.

I’d also like to point out that it’s very important to have an experienced project manager or product owner in the team, with wide experience in your industry. Relevant expertise will allow significantly reducing the risks of the delay in the product or service launch.

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