The Virtualization Room

Jul 22 2011   9:15AM GMT

Data virtualisation technology adoption: Low, but why?

Archana Venkatraman Profile: Archana Venkatraman

The adoption of data virtualisation technology is still very low, but many of the organisations that have embraced it are reaping the benefits.

Data virtualisation is an approach to information management that allows businesses to aggregate information from several disparate sources and view the data through a single virtual source. This approach does not just save time and improve efficiency, but it also allows professionals to make informed decisions with access to relevant information just when they need it.

A recent Forrester report, which revealed that the adoption is less than 20%, has identified other benefits of data virtualisation technology, specifically in these areas:

  • Integration: Data virtualisation helps businesses integrate a variety of data resources to create system-wide views of relevant data for business intelligence purposes.
  • Data quality: Data virtualisation facilitates better information management and reduces inconsistencies and inaccuracies in data.
  • Data usage: Data virtualisation helps create subject-oriented data objects accessible through a single source.

Data virtualisation technology adoption remains low, despite these benefits, because many enterprises focus only on its benefits to specific projects, according to the report’s author, Forrester analyst Brian Hopkins.

This approach “may not justify the cost of an enterprise data virtualisation platform”, he said in the report. The other reasons adoption is so low: Many early product releases have not lived up to expectations, and some vendors have underplayed data virtualisation’s significance, he added.

Adoption of data virtualisation technology will rise over the next 18 months to three years, according to the report. And looking at data virtualisation from a fresh perspective may be a good starting point. Viewing it as an enterprise data management (EDM) approach –and as part of the overall IT strategy — could make organisations more confident about the technology, the report said.

Developing such an approach will help users think about larger business objectives and assess how data virtualisation can help their organisations realise their business objectives, rather than worrying about the short-term cost implications.

One would assume the IT teams already know this, but other stakeholders and business decision-makers need convincing. Once they understand the value of viewing data virtualisation as part of an EDM strategy, we could see the technology make deeper inroads.

Oh, and when you communicate to the stakeholders, don’t forget to mention the mobile workforce in your organisation. To cater to the “anyplace, anytime” data needs of this growing breed of professionals, your organisation will need efficient remote data management solutions. This argument will probably get them on your side sooner. Good luck!

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