It seems that 2017 is the year of the prediction, or at least it seems that we have seen many more of them this December than we have in the past. Like many forward-thinking businesses, we spend some time as the year closes in discussions and private musings about how we can grow personally and how we can grow our business. This leads naturally to a bit of work with the crystal ball, trying to guess what will be top of mind for enterprise in 2017 in our main areas of focus within data management, namely data monetization, database tuning and cloud migration. Here is what we think:
Artificial Intelligence meets Data Monetization—In one of the better (in our opinion) prediction articles for 2017, Quentin Gallivan, CEO at Pentaho forecast that Cybersecurity would be the #1 use case for Artificial Intelligence. Given the urgency of that cause, it is hard to disagree, but we think that a very good case can be made for the application of AI to the now painstaking task of Extraction, Transform and Load (ETL) that is so often the show stopper for data monetization projects. We can see an opportunity in the very near future for enterprises that accumulate the meta-knowledge gained from multiple projects for machine learning, and then offer enhanced ETL as a service, greatly improving the usability of the resulting data sets with much less human interaction in the process.
More Opportunities for Data Monetization—In the same article, Jeff Klaus, General Manager Data Center Solutions at Intel, believes that C-level executives will spend much more time in their data centers over cybersecurity concerns, discovering what data they have, where it is, and who has access to those data. We predict that this will lead to much more interest in data management and monetization projects as progressive CEO’s visualize unique use cases for the data that might have otherwise gone undiscovered.
Data Migration and Data Recovery; Protecting Data in the Cloud—Companies migrating some or all of their data to the cloud will struggle with unique new data management questions regarding data security, data storage and recovery. First, there will most certainly be some push for no action from within the company due to the persistent (and incorrect) belief that data in the cloud is somehow fully secure. Then there is the question of where to backup data (another instance on the same cloud platform will not make sense to everyone). Some companies may realize that this not a core competency, and elect to utilize a Managed Services Provider to manage their data center as well as the backup plan. We believe that this will be a growth area for MSP’s.
Database Tuning will have a Resurgence—Everyone wants their data retrieval to run faster, but the intimate knowledge of the data and SQL code are not always available. A data migration project often requires refactoring to take best advantage of the features offered by various providers as explained in this excellent comparison. This is a perfect opportunity to revisit and improve legacy SQL code, because this code must be examined anyway for the refactoring.
In peril, there is often opportunity. 2017 will certainly bring real data management challenges in security and data monetization, but we believe that these same forces will open new revenue generation models for those insightful enough to embrace the good parts of changes that they must deal with to move forward.