Seamless flow of data underpins IT modernisation initiatives
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Seamless flow of data underpins IT modernisation initiatives

Seamless flow of data underpins IT modernisation initiatives

Research by Gartner has found that customer experience drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty, outperforming price and brand combined

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In recent years, traditional data centres with mainframe or ageing architectures have been struggling to support the modern business, which includes the scale and speed required to meet new customer and regulatory demands. Organisations have found it increasingly difficult to justify the significant Capex costs associated with the upgrade and maintenance of these legacy environments. The growing regional investmwents by global hyperscalers, and widespread acceptance of public cloud has only fuelled these frustrations and Gartner estimates that end-user expenditure on public cloud services in the Middle East and North Africa region will reach $5.7bn this year.

While the benefits of public and hybrid cloud models are clear, the one critical thing to remember is that data centres can still manage critical business processes and hold key functionality that has been developed over many years. This allows them to hold data, and a lot of it. They cannot be dismissed and excluded from modern business technology set up. Furthermore, we must not forget that taking them out of the technology equation is risky with potential moments of downtime or data loss. The upgrade of these legacy systems is an inevitability and modernisation is a must. But it’s equally important to recognise the value of these legacy systems and work to develop clear roadmaps for their modernisation in a manner that doesn’t disrupt operations.

A steady IT modernisation
With the onslaught of digital transformation many believed the easiest thing to do was to start from scratch when it came to the technology to run the business. It soon became clear that it was expensive and complex. Enterprises need to utilise what they already have and retain those core elements of their existing infrastructure and look to the route of IT modernisation ensuring they can transform the business over a period of time. A key part of that IT modernisation is adding a data layer around these core systems which will allow the unrestricted flow of data across the business.

Invest in building data pipelines
It is clear businesses need a new way to handle data, one that supports collecting a continuous flow of data from across the business, between apps, databases, SaaS layers and cloud providers. However, there should be no need to remove legacy technology simply because it works in a different way to cloud-based offerings. Data needs to flow efficiently and effectively between modern and heritage applications. Yet currently, for most businesses, their data is stuck in static databases, and that is because these data systems were designed to handle data at rest and not data in motion. So, implementing a platform and layer, which will allow data to move fluidly will link all data points together in real-time, no matter where they reside in an organisation’s IT infrastructure.

Act now
As the need to cater to new customer demands builds, every department is now placing increasing pressure on IT to drive innovation. New services must be brought to market in ever shrinking development and deployment windows as the fear of being left behind leaves little room for delay and trepidation. However, innovation doesn’t mean starting from scratch – it means using the foundation and then modernising with a platform and layer that allows to move data around freely and in real-time. This infrastructure, with a central nervous system for data at its core, will empower to finally unlock the promise of digital transformation – exceptional customer experiences.

Fred Crehan is the regional director – Middle East at Confluent

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