Today, there are many cloud vendors and many companies are not just choosing one of them. They have multiple clouds and for many reasons. They’re avoiding lock-in and choosing the vendor that makes sense for the kind of work they want to do. For example, a company may want to do data science with Google and data warehousing with Amazon.

Customers want to choose the best cloud for their project or solution. Informatica has been working on this dynamic and how they exist in a world that is multi-cloud with fragmented data and applications and processes spread across clouds and on-premise, it’s not just integrating data from a single on-premise source to a cloud source anymore. Now integration involves multiple clouds.

Against this backdrop, Informatica has announced their Winter 2017 Release.

Informatica is aiming to insulate customers from rapid changes that have led us to multi-cloud by giving them some continuity in integration. Managing the data integration is one of my client’s limiting factors to data – and consequently business – success. Data integration is at an all-time high in terms of need and showing no signs of abating.

The Winter 2017 Release announcements are less a pivot than a natural progression. Like many software providers, Informatica must provide cloud native software. Their “iPaaS” solution has always covered the gamut of need for modern data integration. The Winter 2017 Release announcements expand their solution with Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services.

Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services has the certifications needed to meet the regulatory requirements customers have such as HIPAA, SOC2, and SOC3.

Informatica is redefining iPaaS to include not only the Data Integration Cloud, but also MDM Cloud, Data Governance Cloud, and the Security Cloud.

To achieve continuity and efficiency, Informatica has utilized microservices for the core services across iPaaS. The discrete nature of microservices leads to higher reliability and resiliency for the entire platform.

Informatica’s Enterprise Information Catalog product scans and provides a view of all data and metadata across the enterprise, not just data integration data and metadata. CLAIRE is the enabling technology for the machine learning / AI intelligence of the platform.

The Enterprise Information Catalog (EIC) provides visibility into the data in an organization. Its functions will largely be able to be done with a common UI, login and skillset. It also features intelligence. For example; if you are working with some data sets it will automatically suggest similar data sets that people have used while doing work similar to what you are doing.

The metadata is collected by “scanner” technology. Many such “scanners” are available today that includes Big Data Platforms, Databases. Applications, etc. This unified metadata means you no longer have to use Informatica for data integration and something like Tibco for application integration.

CLAIRE is what Informatica named their artificial intelligence. It’s machine learning built on top of this metadata. It is the key to Informatica’s platform approach to the multi-cloud dilemma.

The Intelligent Data Platform (IDP)

In the recent past, many of the critical capabilities of the modern data management platform have been largely out of reach for many organization. Even more challenging, or downright impossible, was to find all these capabilities integrated into one solution. It simply did not exist. Enter the platform approach.

By definition, a platform is a foundational technology (or stack of technologies) that are used as a base upon which other applications, processes, and uses are developed. Up until this time, information management platforms have been singular purpose—a data warehouse platform, a master data management platform, a data governance platform, and so on. A multifaceted, full spectrum, end-to-end data management platform was not even an option.

The platform approach should be a strong consideration for any organization seeking to build up critical data management capabilities.

First, the platform approach brings the key data management capabilities to the organization.

Second, a platform reduces the complexity of data management in an increasingly complex data environment. Third, it unifies approaches and rallies practice and discipline around a unified approach. Finally, the platform approach enables future innovation with data and future proofs us against inevitable shifts in data technology trends.

A platform approach is simply a smart way to go. Reduction in cost and complexity and expanding use and innovation are critical to enabling and sustaining business viability with information management. Just as the work of hundreds of blacksmiths were turned into an assembly line, a platform can enable the same automation in your data.

In the Winter 2017 Release, Informatica is helping application developers build connectivity from one application to another in the cloud or on-premise, using APIs.

The many organizations that are taking strong steps towards the cloud for their data and processing will see benefit from the Informatica/IDP approach. With a platform for widespread metadata sharing and leveraging skills across a spectrum of modern data functions, IDP and the other parts of the Winter Release announcements will prepare organizations in making data into the asset it needs to be.

McKnight Consulting Group