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Data modernisation is all in the mind, says Ed Airey from Micro Focus

Data modernisation is all in the mind, says Ed Airey from Micro Focus

Ed Airey believes that many enterprise businesses are under-using something they already have

Caspar Herzberg |

This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of The Record.

Gartner has recently predicted a 650% growth in enterprise data over the next five years. The 1.4 billion data-generating and collecting smartphones bought in 2015 are adding to the trillion gigabytes of data already out there. And enterprises love data. They support personalised customer experiences and create a business advantage.

But are they maximising the value of the data assets they already have?

Imagine an IT organisation was a person – you – and current marketplace competitors were people you know. You have much in common but your experience and knowledge are unique. This is your intellectual property (IP).

Would you delete it all in the hope that starting again, or thinking differently, might make you a more a better, more efficient, person? No. Because your IP is who you are. And it has value.

But what if you could reuse your IP to give you an edge in that marketplace? To remember killer facts in the meeting itself, rather than on the drive home afterwards? That is what successful data modernisation means.

Maximising what you have faces down the industry narrative that risky rewrites or replacements are automatically better options. Instead, business data is reused in new and exciting ways without sacrificing IP or any data. Two recent Micro Focus data modernisation solutions illustrate the point.

With our Relativity solution, business data in common business-oriented language (COBOL) systems becomes accessible as a relational data source, available in real time using modern analysis and reporting tools such as Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel. Business users create contemporary pivot tables and charts from decades-old data.

Similarly, our Database Connectors solution creates a bridge between relational database management system technology and COBOL applications by automatically translating older source code into SQL instructions that work with a modern relational database. This is data modernisation made easy.

Both solutions harness the power of application data and deliver insight, reporting and data integration capability without changing a single line of code. Business analytics and relational database management system integration, two tenets of data access and modernisation, are delivered through these two powerful solutions.

Successful data modernisation uses what you have today in meeting future business strategy goals. It enables simple, secure and ­standards-based access to that organisational data – your unique IP – to realise its business value. But spend it wisely. Modernise carefully. Only trust your IP with experts.  

Ed Airey is product marketing director at Micro Focus


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