Harnessing the power of data in a hybrid cloud environment

In an increasingly crowded business environment, businesses need to stay at the forefront of innovation to get ahead. And the best way for companies to do that is by looking inward -- specifically at their own, preexisting data. Data is every business’ most valuable asset, holding insights that can unlock undiscovered potential. Whether you’re building out fraud detection or working to gain a competitive advantage with new market opportunities, the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) training engines that drive this kind of innovation are only as effective as the data they are given.   

Where challenges arise in this process is with the management of data flows. In the past, data has been kept primarily on highly secure, on-premise systems. But more businesses have since been migrating operations to cloud systems, with many opting for a hybrid approach. Research firm Forrester reported that more than 94 percent of U.S. enterprise decision-makers are using at least one type of cloud deployment, with the majority being hybrid or multi-cloud. By modernizing mainframe systems and implementing the right data intelligence tools enterprise leaders can take advantage of all their company data without exposing it to undue threats along the way.

Unlocking Data Without Adding Risk

Hybrid cloud has become a favorite among businesses everywhere, mixing the benefits of mainframe and cloud technology for added resiliency, security, and agility. But as businesses look to harness data in these varying environments, new challenges arise. As these businesses take their data and begin migrating it to new, cloud-based environments, the question of how to manage it holistically doesn’t come with an easy answer. But perhaps the best place to start is with modernizing data infrastructure.

Protecting data along its journey to the cloud requires complete visibility. Legacy systems often create data siloes, making it difficult to see exactly what’s happening in a given corner of the business. When modernizing, companies should prioritize solutions that enable tearing down those siloes and give decision-makers a picture of their data enterprise-wide. With the volume of data involved, software solutions that bring agility and flexibility to data management are also a must. Hybrid migrations make it easier for businesses to modernize as they go, but successfully going down this path requires solutions that can keep pace with that journey.

The requirement, as modernization and hybrid cloud strategies are pursued, is maintaining strong visibility and controls on the data while it moves and changes. Understanding its provenance, guaranteeing its redaction, and reporting consistently on the success of compliance and governance efforts are core functions that now must extend to cloud, as well.  With established, effective data practices, organizations can more freely interact with their valuable and critical data without incurring risk.

Modernizing Data Management

Failing to modernize data management processes leaves businesses without the tools to fully capitalize on their own data. Folding content workflows, redaction, governance, and metadata management into data management processes will become increasingly crucial and deliver much needed support to the data professionals that keep data flowing. By removing the human element from some aspects of data management, the tool helps cut down on errors and mistakes that can materialize with such high volumes of information.

When it comes to content management, cutting down on waste is essential. A 2022 survey of business leaders found that 34 percent of respondents identified redundant and unnecessary data as their biggest content management challenge. With a centralized approach, data professionals gain access to the tools they need to sort out and classify data. As a result, it becomes easier for IT teams to spot and eliminate redundant, obsolete or unused data, cutting costs and making higher quality data more discoverable. Leveraging data intelligence tools, teams can centralize their data management to improve workflows and overall decision-making.  

Leveraging Data for Better Business Outcomes

Businesses need to innovate to survive. But that innovation is only as good as the data behind it. For any business to stay ahead of the market, success hinges on its data. Getting that data into cloud AI and ML engines has the potential to generate groundbreaking insights. But that task is not as easy as it might sound. On-premise systems keep data tightly secured, and opening new doors can introduce risks.

To take full advantage of company data, these businesses need to take a close look at the state of their data management infrastructure and processes. With modernized data management, data intelligence technology and content automation businesses can harness the full potential of their data while mitigating the security and integrity risks of a hybrid cloud system.

Photo Credit: phloxii/Shutterstock

Chris Wey is President of Data Modernization at Rocket Software.

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