It was Data First at Informatica World 2018
A couple of weeks ago, Informatica World descended on Las Vegas. I left with a strong sense of excitement over what I heard. The messages were in line with many of the messages I have been sharing and I was eager to take the refinements and articulations to my company and community of clients. As summer is closing in on us, it’s past time to be slowed by where to begin since so much was discussed, so here goes a look into the “Data 3.0” world of Informatica.
A common message from the Informatica speakers is that data is its own discipline. No longer should it take a back seat to applications. Data carries a huge responsibility and requires specialized services for the enterprise. While this message is sinking in slowly but surely, data spread and sprawl is growing faster than ever – actually doubling universally every year. Organizations are continually creating and adding this data and must get it under management.
Key to getting control over organizational data is the most touted product at the show – the Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog. Informatica calls it the fastest growing product in Informatica history. With the help of the catalog collecting metadata across the enterprise, you can add new sources under management by responding to prompts. Informatica wants to be the “Google of enterprise data.”
Much was made about the re-importance of non-functionals. Beyond first-generation reliability, performance and scale needs, now we must contend with governance, security and privacy, all of which need their own design principles. GDPR naturally was used to illustrate a problem many are dealing with today. Amit Walia, President, Products and Strategic Ecosystems, said to begin with the Catalog, but also that Secure@Source and Axon Data Governance were key to GDPR success. Jitesh S. Ghai, SVP & GM, Data Quality, Security and Governance, talked about the many other regulations focused on privacy and protection. Stepping back and seeing them all really highlighted this massive trend.
Guest speaker Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President at Microsoft, was on hand to discuss a new Informatica partnership and the new features of Azure. Demos of “one-click install” for both AWS and Azure highlighted Informatica cloud connectivity. This opened up the use of “hybrid cloud” to describe Informatica’s focus now. This was one of many examples of Informatica growing their ecosystem in the last year.
Artificial Intelligence was an ever-present theme at Informatica World. CLAIRE is part of every product, most holistically in the discovery process of the Catalog. Walia said “let AI assist” whatever you are doing.
Informatica has emerged as a cloud business. Despite doing an excellent job with their products, Informatica has really transitioned from a product company to a solutions company. Anil Chakravarthy, Chief Executive Officer, made many points about the model of ongoing information exchange with customers and their proactive understanding how customers are using their software.
Informatica has done an excellent job on the product front with products arguably challenging as best-of-breed in their seven key product lines: data integration, iPaaS, big data management, data quality, master data management, enterprise data catalog, and data security. It has more R&D ($196M annual) and innovation happening than back when it was a public company. Data is at the center. The catalog is a game-changer with the full visibility to data that it provides. Developers can focus on developing and using data, not on infrastructure and dealing with data sprawl. It was data first at Informatica World 2018 as it is data first in life.