I am very happy to announce that I have joined Ventana Research to help lead the expertise area of Digital Technology, including Analytics and Data, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the Internet of Things, Robotic Automation, and Collaborative and Conversational Computing. While the breadth of applications and technology covered by our Digital Technology practice is broad, I will naturally make use of my decades of experience covering data platforms and analytics to help organizations improve the readiness and resilience of business and IT operations.
Those who know me are aware of my experience in covering existing and emerging data platforms as well as approaches to analytics and machine learning, most notably during my nearly 15-year tenure as an industry analyst. During this time, I was amongst the first industry analysts to focus on the emergence and adoption of new data platforms including Hadoop, NoSQL and NewSQL databases, data lakes, stream data processing and cloud-based data processing.
The need to be more data-driven has become a mantra among large and small organizations recognizing the potential to transform business processes, develop new products and services and improve operational efficiency through the accelerated and automated processing of data. Data-driven organizations stand to gain competitive advantage, responding faster to worker and customer demands for more innovative, data-rich applications and personalized experiences.
Everyone knows the theory. Putting it into practice is much harder. Organizations have arguably never had so many choices in relation to data processing and analytics, and the range of options can be bewildering.
Should the data model be relational, non-relational or multimodal? Is the use case primarily operational, analytics or a hybrid of the two? Should the data be processed in motion or at rest? Data warehouse or data lake (or something in between)? Native analytics and machine learning functionality, or an external application or service?
The options are not limited to the nature of the applications and technology themselves, but also where they reside and how they should be consumed. Should the data infrastructure be self-managed or a managed service? On-premises, at the edge, in the cloud (and which cloud) or hybrid? How is access to data managed and governed as it flows through various departments and business units, and how does an organization ensure it is always making decisions based upon the most reliable and up-to-date data available?
These questions are not simple. Emerging digital technologies promise to revolutionize the efficiency of data processing and business processes. Technology choices are further complicated by the desire to maximize the efficiency of existing investments in infrastructure and skills. Meanwhile, data sovereignty, data privacy, data security, regulatory and performance requirements further complicate decisions about where and when to store and process data and how it should be governed.
Navigating these decisions requires a structured and methodological approach that incorporates all the various options and considerations, and balances the desire to rapidly transform business processes and technology infrastructure with the need to maintain consistent and reliable service levels across applications used by both workers and customers.
I was particularly attracted to Ventana Research because of the strength of its research methodology, which provides a framework that helps clients make sense of the myriad of options available to them. This framework is delivered in the form of the Benchmark Research, Value Index and Dynamic Insights products as well as the Ventana On-Demand advisory, education and consultative products.
Another critical factor in my decision was the company’s commitment to objective, quantitative research as well as the experience and expertise of Ventana Research leadership and subject matter experts — particularly Mark Smith, CEO and chief research officer, and David Menninger, senior vice president of research responsible for technology research. I am looking forward to working with and learning from them and the rest of the team.
Additionally, I will bring my expertise and perspective to complement the existing team and research methodology, expanding Ventana’s market coverage in digital technologies. My goal is to help clients navigate the full depth and breadth of people, process, information and technology options available to them and accelerate the generation of insight from data, whatever it’s for and wherever it resides across the organization.
The socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic and its aftereffects have highlighted more than ever the differences between organizations that can turn data into insight and are agile enough to act upon it and those that are incapable of seeing or responding to the need for change. The rewards include greater operational efficiency, opportunities for innovation, more resilient business continuity and ultimately competitive advantage.
Digital technology promises to enable even further and more rapid transformation of organizations as well as the data and analytics vendor landscape. The sector is constantly evolving, and the pace of change is increasing. I look forward to helping Ventana Research’s clients and community understand and enjoy the potential advantages of this transformational change.