The role data architects can play in strengthening the IT-business relationship


Automation lets IT meet the ever-changing needs of the business by enhancing speed, reducing costs and risk, and growing revenue.

In many organizations, the business-IT relationship is akin to a bad marriage, aggravated by poorly aligned priorities and inadequate communication. Automation can save the relationship, however. It opens the door to “managed” self-service for the business, with IT governing the process. Both sides win.

What are the roots of this age-old schism? Business is outward-facing, focused on generating revenue and growth. IT, on the other hand, has traditionally been a cost center, focused on keeping core transactional applications up and running. And because budgets are often cut every year, IT is resource-constrained and motivated by stability. As a result, every change that the business requests can upset the equilibrium IT has worked so hard to maintain.

Because of resource-constraints, IT often has a difficult time delivering real-time data and reports to increasingly disenfranchised business owners. This can resort in the business creating a shadow IT team to develop desktop or cloud-based custom solutions that only complicate matters. The resulting hybrid networks, rooted in both on-premise and cloud solutions, create additional strains on IT in its fight to integrate, secure, and govern data.

Conflict resolution

So, what’s the answer? One solution is an embeddable data management engine like Informatica’s Vibe. This virtual data machine (VDM) creates a foundation to effectively separate technology execution from design instructions and specifications.

Simply put, Vibe separates the what (e.g. mapping) from the how (e.g., SQL instructions), which Vibe dynamically determines at runtime. Its “map once, deploy anywhere” capabilities alleviate time-consuming recoding and rearchitecting. And Vibe runs directly on Hadoop, which lets organizations take advantage of big data—without the need for IT to get up-to-speed on Hadoop skills.

By automating actions behind the scenes, IT can dictate which data the business touches and how they touch it. This self-service model provides both IT and the business with more control. IT’s time and budget can be redirected toward innovation. And the business can now safely create cloud-based ad hoc solutions.

Satisfaction guaranteed

The alignment of IT with the business works to create measurable value by allowing the organization to reach its ultimate goal of satisfying customers and partners.

“As a multispecialty healthcare provider, leveraging data to improve patient care is critical to our business and the services we provide for patients and physicians,” says Jonathan Stevenson, director of innovation and analytics at Ochsner Health Systems. ”With Vibe, we can access and manage data across our platforms, applications, and devices and turn it into actionable data to improve our care.“

Data architects can play a pivotal role in shoring up the IT-business relationship. Automating processes opens the door to revenue growth and quicker delivery by reducing costs and mitigating risks. With both parties “in charge,” the relationship between the two can heal and they can both put their energies toward optimizing data for competitive advantage.

This article is reprinted from Informatica’s Potential at Work for Architects Community. Join now for insights into governing, integrating, and unleashing your company’s data.