This article was originally published in the Winter 2018 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.
We are experiencing a new type of revolution. Everything from our personal devices to our cars, homes, workplaces and cities is connected, and even people are becoming walking, talking, data-generating engines. Once siloed, remote, inaccessible and mostly underutilised, data is now firmly at the centre of the technological revolution, playing a critical role in how we do business and conduct our daily lives.
Working with such vast quantities of structured, unstructured and multi-sourced data can be complex, particularly now that there are so many different data ingestion points and creation mechanisms. Most endpoint devices have computing power, so embedded data could come from multiple origin points, including wearables, internet of things sensors, cars, chip cards and more. IDC states that the number of embedded system devices feeding into data centres is less than one per person globally today, but over the next 10 years it will rise to more than four per person. IDC also predicts that by 2025, embedded data will constitute nearly 20% of all data and that there will be quintillions of data files generated every year. The growth of real-time data that’s generated from all of these data points will cause a shift in the type of digital storage needed for the future.
To create a truly powerful data ingestion and processing platform, many organisations are moving data, applications and core services to the public, private or hybrid cloud. However, this isn’t always a straightforward process. Moving core services and custom applications is the hardest part of any cloud migration project because organisations must focus on the Six R’s: retain, retire, rehost, replatform, refactor and repurchase. However, it’s that data piece that can be really challenging.
Ideally, companies should aim to become cloud native to support evolving digital market requirements. To do so, they might need to refactor the design and coding of their applications to make them faster and more agile, which can be costly. However, in many situations, this is the only way that companies can support cloud and remain competitive in a quickly evolving market. Businesses should not hang on to legacy solutions if they’re no longer bringing value.
Navigating the world of cloud and data becomes much easier when companies work with a software development partner like EPAM. We help our customers fully understand their current IT infrastructure and data challenges, as well as how cloud-native applications can help them meet their business goals. After creating a roadmap for innovation, we design an optimal architecture and carry out multiple proofs-of-concept and trials to ensure the final migration is successful. Post-migration, our ‘migration-as-a-factory’ offering allows us to help our clients continually innovate by leveraging the best of cloud – and advanced solutions such as artificial intelligence, natural language processing, augmented reality and chatbots – to improve business operations, employee and customer experience.
Let me give you an example. Recently, EPAM worked with a global company that had already created its own large on-premises data repositories and storage mechanisms but was struggling to integrate business intelligence (BI) capabilities for processing and analysing data. EPAM helped the client move to Microsoft Azure platform-as-a-service and developed a Microsoft Azure Data Lake Store, then used advanced Data Lake Analytics, HDInsight Spark Cluster and Microsoft Azure SQL to integrate Microsoft Power BI. Now, the company has a hybrid ecosystem that allows it to leverage some on-premises resources, but feed data into the cloud so there’s no longer a need to worry about data complexity, vast amounts of customised code or proper data processing.
Taking a complex legacy process and revolutionising it in this way is the textbook definition of digital transformation. This is what EPAM does every single day. We provide the foundation for automating data processing and ingestion architecture as the organisation grows. Taking control of data and moving it to the cloud is the first step in the bigger digital transformation journey for companies who want to remain competitive in the digital-first world. At EPAM, we provide a map to navigate today’s data-driven universe and allow our customers to leverage the most advanced architectures to deploy cloud, data and emerging solutions.
Bill Kleyman is director of Technology Solutions at EPAM
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