Do you need to migrate to a cloud data integration platform – but are worried about disruption to your business? Jason Bullen and Scott Forrest talk to the team at Informatica about their leading IICS integration platform and how they are addressing enterprises’ cloud concerns.
More flexibility, greater control, increased scalability… by now, every business understands that there are significant benefits to migrating to a cloud-native data integration platform. Yet while the need to migrate is inarguable, and the want is definitely there, there are still perceived issues holding businesses back from carrying out a full-scale cloud migration.
How long will it take until I start to see a return on investment? Will the process negatively impact my business? Is it going to cause unnecessary disruption?
As a result, we’re seeing more businesses continuing to bolt-on cloud applications to cover particular tasks or services, as opposed to embracing a full cloud conversion. Yet while these cloud additions can work in the short-term, they are putting off the inevitable. If businesses want to explore the full benefits of cloud, they are going to need to grasp a fully cloud-native approach: and the sooner they adopt, the sooner they can start seeing a commercial return on investment.
I spoke to the Informatica team to find out how they have addressed businesses’ cloud migration concerns, as well as hearing more about some of the key benefits the new platform will offer to users.
First, let’s look at the issues around migration and how they’re mitigating for customers
Map your migration (and control costs)
The Migration Factory is Informatica’s patented methodology for completing large-scale migrations to the cloud. It encompasses all the people, processes, and tools that help an organization plan, execute, and support workload migrations. In other words, the Migration Factory blends the technical components of a cloud migration with the business and human components. Following are the top three key benefits of a Migration Factory approach: reduced migration time, reduced migration cost, and reduced migration risk.
IICS is also part of an end-to-end data management cloud platform – the Informatica Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) – which supports capturing enterprise metadata and lineage, enabling customers to map their processes, key data elements, business critical data, reports, and dependency, to build an agile, incremental approach.
Natively integrate on-premises and cloud data sources
One of the biggest benefits of IICS is that users can draw from a combination of on-premises and cloud data sources. It recognises businesses desire for more gradual, longer-term migration, eradicating the need for every data source to be migrated before the cloud platform can be used. This also supports a data-mesh approach to data management in the long-term, combining disparate data sources as opposed to requiring one unified source of data.
Make use of your existing customisations
Migrating to cloud can feel like starting from scratch all over again – rendering previous (and potentially expensive) transformations null and void. IICS attempts to change this, by integrating previous data facilities (such as pre-existing data warehouses) for a more seamless migration, and a more fluid transformation process. If you are a PowerCenter customer, the Migration Factory can ingest your PowerCenter integrations and produce IICS equivalents. This accelerates your time to value, reduces development costs, and avoids rendering all your previous work null and void. Any remaining customisations that couldn’t be ingested can be migrated by an IICS developer in a low-code, user-friendly GUI.
Only pay for what you use – and avoid long lead times
Long lead times are one of the most off-putting aspects of cloud migration for busy enterprises: they want the results but are hesitant to put plans ‘on-hold’ while they wait for implementation. IICS makes it is easier to start seeing benefits sooner, thanks in part to how it connects with existing data functions, but also its streamlined, automation-driven migration strategy.
With the Informatica consumption-based pricing, Informatica Processing Unit (IPU), you only pay for what you use. This way you can gradually migrate to IICS and scale the service over time without worrying too much about having a shiny, expensive cloud platform sitting idle, costing you money.
So once migration is complete and IICS is operational, what are the long-term benefits to users?
Make a data democracy
IICS makes it easier to distribute ownership of and access to data, ensuring that every part of the business can benefit from data and make informed, data-driven decisions. The Informatica Intelligent Data Management Cloud provides end-to-end data management that goes beyond data integration, enabling data to be trusted and democratised. Users can create ‘personas’ to tailor access to data and present the right information, in the right way, to the right people – helping businesses to create a ‘data democracy’ and use data to their full strategic advantage.
Lean on a flexible infrastructure
Every aspect of IICS’ design increases flexibility. IICS runs off of small but powerful engines, called Cloud Secure Agents, that process data. They can be deployed anywhere the customer needs: on-premises servers, cloud servers like AWS or Azure, or a hybrid of both cloud and on-premises. They can also enable hybrid cloud applications, with IICS running on more than one cloud host at a time. Cloud Secure Agents can dynamically scale up or down depending on your workload, with IICS deciding how much processing is required (based on load and traffic) and auto- scaling accordingly.
With an agile infrastructure, businesses can explore new opportunities with ease, as well as respond swiftly to market demands. One of the biggest benefits of IICS is its ability to respond to changing technology trends: users can lift their data designs or blueprints and apply them to a new technology or data platform, without the need to fully re-code from scratch: same functions, new technology, no lengthy changeover.
Achieve elastic scale to meet unexpected demands
Businesses data needs aren’t always set in stone: there may be seasonal fluctuations (like Black Friday sales in the retail sector or peak times for insurers) or ad-hoc opportunities to explore (such as a new product or service line in development). IICS allows businesses to scale their compute resources up or down automatically, enabling them to respond quickly to changes and explore new revenue streams with flexibility. Simply use what you need, when you need it – and only pay for what you are using.
Save resources and time with AI-Powered automation
IICS can learn and adapt to usage, suggesting automations that increase productivity and reduce hands-on data actions. For instance, when onboarding new data sources, IICS will start to recognize previous behaviours and recommend an automated approach for future uploads.
Future-proof your transformation
IICS has been created for businesses to use long into the future, instead of ‘expiring’ with the next data trend. The platform’s flexibility and multi-cloud approach to integration mean that businesses can use it as the basis of their digital transformation for years to come, allowing them to incorporate new technologies, new data sources and new data-driven actions with ease.
These are just some of the benefits that IICS can bring to your business. At Agile Solutions, we’re already helping businesses to migrate to IICS and enjoy greater commercial benefits from their data. To find out more about what’s driving IICS implementation, and whether it’s right for you, contact our team of experienced data consultants.
Following our Ask the Expert Session, please find the answers to some of the questions raised, here.