Four out of five business-critical applications are currently stored in data centers. We see that in five years’ time, three to four out of five business-critical applications will be in the cloud. Moreover, the heart of data – enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems – will sooner or later be taken to the cloud. Only in the cloud can ecosystem data genuinely be brought together for business value. The data assets of individual companies, with perhaps financial institutions and tele operators as exceptions, are simply not enough on their own for advanced techniques of data use such as marketing automation or robotic process automation. The value is and will be in the combined data assets of ecosystems.
The years ahead will be hybrid when it comes to data platforms, including different public clouds, private clouds and data centers. The backbone of data management will be versatile, but the direction will be cloud, both when it comes to business applications and in the end also ERP’s. New digital services are to a large extent already in the cloud.
Legacy is that different business applications were brought together in enterprise service buses (ESB’s). In the cloud environment, solutions are full stack and each and every application therefore needs to be detached and taken to the cloud, with containerization supporting this move. The transformation to cloud requires the reenvisioning of each application – lift and shift is always a temporary fix. However, cross-platform integration development is just in the beginning of its era, and the conversion of business applications to the cloud not yet even as far as that.
Digital services have during the past years often been developed on a stand-alone basis, drilling down company systems to allow for agile development of discrete solutions, however increasing the challenge of mastering the whole. Going forward, it will be imperative to bring together the data to be used in applications, whether business applications or digital services with consumer interface. This requires mastering complexity.
Information management is key in data convergence. This is about a holistic approach to information architecture development, managing online data streams and handling exponentially increasing amounts of data to support new business opportunities and make existing operations more efficient. The end goal is to secure real-time, governed, available and clean data.
Essential to mastering complex systems supporting data-driven competitiveness is taking care of platforms, applications and data in the long run. We need agile development of the new, but also the capability to safely run solutions and manage data 24/7/365.
In this data convergence we want to be the leading player and trusted partner, supporting our customers in managing, refining, analyzing and using ecosystem data to their business advantage. And we invite not only our customers, but our peers to join us on the journey. Data convergence is the next huge opportunity for the Nordics.
Seppo Kuula, CEO Enfo