The Path to Data Virtualisation

Challenge 1 - Where are we?

Like many aspects of IT, Data Management and Data virtualisation are going through their own massive changes. It can be hard to keep up with the latest trends, understand the latest buzz words or work out what to do next.

To keep things simple, you need to know where you are, where you want to get to and how to get there. A short discovery exercise can help to avoid making design mistakes early in the transformation that are difficult to undo later. A maturity assessment can also include a technology horizon scanning exercise that will help de-mystify all of the options available and help you choose which is right for your own situation.

Challenge 2 - What skills are needed?

Gartner identifies one of the top barriers to digital transformation as a talent gap. Marcus Blosch, research vice president at Gartner says, “There are two approaches to breach the talent gap — upskill and bimodal…In smaller or more innovative organizations, it is possible to redefine individuals' roles to include more skills and competencies needed to support digital. In other organizations, using a bimodal approach makes sense by creating a separate group to handle innovation with the requisite skill set."
Challenge 3 - Who are the stakeholders and how to keep them happy?

Data and analytics strategies have moved from “how to drive a successful project” to “how do we use data to make the business more successful.” You need to include your stakeholder needs analysis as part of your data virtualisation strategy.

A long list of stakeholders needs to be considered when looking at the transformation to a data virtualisation approach. The rewards are considerable but the risks of moving when not ready or moving with perceived or real risk can stop a transformation at source. Gartner identifies three steps to securing executive sponsorship:

  • Identify the Most Senior Person You Can Engage With
  • Create a Common Language Based on Your Organization’s Key Business Goals
  • Be Realistic About Your Organization’s Data-Driven Ambitions

It is also important to recognise that ongoing governance is key – you’ve worked hard to transform the way the business uses data but without ongoing governance and management, that hard work can be quickly lost. Senior sponsorship goes a long way here also – buy-in from all areas and a mandate from the top means that teams recognise that this is important and alignment is key.