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Data-driven companies will enjoy upturn first

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26th Oct 2009
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To recover from the recession early, companies must retain their focus on data integration, according to Informatica CEO Sohaib Abbasi. But there are three barriers to becoming a data-driven enterprise...

Things are getting better out there, argues Informatica CEO Sohaib Abbasi, but companies must retain their focus on data integration in order to reap an early benefit.

“Our business is progressively benefiting from improving macroeconomic conditions across several industries in most major geographic regions,” he argues. “Now, more customers are pursuing strategies for business revival rather than simply business survival. The associated IT initiatives have raised the priority and urgency of the enabling data integration. In fact, our regional results reflect these trends. In the Americas, our results highlight increasing customer demands across several vertical industry segments and in parts of Europe, particularly the UK and Germany.”

He cites a couple of real-world examples to emphasise his point. “In Europe, a world leading insurance conglomerate, ING Insurance selected Informatica for several important IT initiatives, including regulatory compliance, IT modernisation, and systems rationalisation,” he explains.

ING Insurance plans to use Informatica for their five-year Solvency II Regulatory Compliance Project. Informatica will also help migrate data from legacy, custom IBM AS/400 based applications to a modern packaged PeopleSoft financial application. In addition, Informatica will help consolidate data from 427 systems, down to 93 applications. In addition to reducing IT costs, these initiatives would help accelerate growth with faster introduction of products through new channels.

“Also in Europe, one of the top global system integrators, BT Global Services chose Informatica for a major public safety agency. This agency aims to deliver an accurate and responsive disclosure service to enhance public safety by protecting the vulnerable in society through safer recruiting. With Informatica Data Quality and Identity Resolution, this agency will pursue its mission by continuously monitoring and accurately matching information against data feeds from other law enforcement agencies.”

Beyond data warehousing

Abbasi argues that Informatica has moved beyond the category of being a data warehousing firm and as such its broadening reach is working in its favour. “By enabling multiple business critical IT initiatives, data integration delivers more value than ever before,” he says. “Growing customer adoption of the latest innovations across six infrastructure software categories is fueling product license revenue growth. These six categories include Enterprise Data Integration, Data Quality, B2B Data Exchange, Application Information Life Cycle Management, CEP and Cloud Computing Data Integration.”

The recession has driven many firms to place a greater focus on data integration, something that Abbasi argues will not go away as the global economic problems lift. “Based on improving financial conditions, economists at IMF proclaim an economic recovery with a virtuous circle of rising confidence but caution that receding downside risk remains a concern,” he notes.

“To be an early beneficiary of this recovery, organisations are actively pursuing strategies for business revival beyond the business survival considerations of last year. At the same time, the lessons learned during the recession are still being applied. Operational efficiency and cost reduction remain a top priority. To be agile and efficient in their business strategies, organisations aspire to become data-driven enterprises. In other words, data integration has a higher sense of purpose and priority than ever before.”

“To become a data-driven enterprise organisations face three daunting challenges. First, business users often cannot rely on IT alone for the most business relevant information. Second, business users frequently do not regard the data to be trustworthy for their purposes, and third, business users do not have timely access to data in the appropriate forum. Until now, these formidable challenges have marginalised the value of IT, and compromise the most business critical strategies.”

That's where Abbasi hopes the forthcoming Informatica 9 release will come in. “As a result of greater scrutiny in terms of the IT budget, budgets are being realigned and are now helping Informatica position data integration as a much higher priority item,” he concludes. “There have been surveys that have been conducted by our customers that indicate that data integration has become a much greater priority. The reason for this is that we are enabling IT initiatives that are very closely associated with either business survival, operational efficiency, cost reduction strategies or with business survival, identifying who are the top customers and what are the most promising products.”

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