Rik Tamm-Daniels, Informatica, CIOSEA News, ETCIO SEA
 Rik Tamm-Daniels, Group Vice President - Strategic Ecosystems and Technology, Informatica
Rik Tamm-Daniels, Group Vice President – Strategic Ecosystems and Technology, Informatica

In the current macroeconomic climate, the demand for data-driven digital transformation remains the top priority for chief information officers and chief digital officers all over the world as they brace for the storm ahead – meaning the cloud continues to rise, even in the face of strong headwinds. As businesses try to automate processes, Gartner predicts that one of the top areas of increased spending for CIOs next year includes data analytics (53 percent), but access to data remains the biggest barrier for enterprises.

In an exclusive interview with us, Rik Tamm-Daniels, the Group Vice President of Strategic Ecosystems and Technology at Informatica, deliberates on the barriers in access to data, tech leaders’ priorities in the cloud data marketplace, the cloud’s evolution and acceleration, and building a next-gen cloud-oriented approach.

Rik drives the adoption of Informatica’s industry-leading intelligent data management cloud with industry-leading, innovative technology/ISV partners including Microsoft, AWS, Google, Snowflake, Databricks, Adobe, and Salesforce ecosystems. He is a technology executive who is passionate about exciting and inspiring the company’s partners and customers with a clear, business-centric, technology-credible vision for how Informatica can drive immediate and game-changing impact to how they do business. His specialties lie in cloud data and analytics, cloud data warehousing, lakehouse, agile BI/ adaptive data preparation, product strategy, big data, big content, text analytics, agile BI, next-generation enterprise search, business intelligence, enterprise architecture, enterprise software, technology development planning and management.

Here are some of the most interesting excerpts from the interaction:

What are some lessons from the cloud that leaders can takeaway while building resilience in the current macroeconomic climate?

The pandemic and the current uncertain economic climate have both shown that agility, one of the most important value-drivers in the cloud, has proven to be the key factor in enabling organisations to continue to thrive. In particular, the ability to understand changing conditions, respond to them quickly and evaluate and iterate are critical capabilities. The foundation for these capabilities is built upon an agile data and analytics capacity.

As we see more organisations moving toward adopting a multi, hybrid cloud environment, the proliferation of data from disparate data sources and applications will result in more data silos, impeding the ability for organisations to be agile and to be able to drive value for their businesses. At the same time, agility requires empowering more and more personas in an organisation to be able to quickly identify critical data insights and act upon them.

Informatica provides our customers with critical data agility via our Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) that provides end-to-end data management capabilities across clouds and on-premises in a hundred percent cloud-native, consumption-based platform and empowers an agile data community.

Gartner predicts that one of the top areas of increased spending for CIOs next year includes data analytics (53 percent), but access to data remains the biggest barrier for enterprises. How does the recent partnership between Informatica and AWS influence the importance of trusted data storage?

We already have a long-standing partnership with Amazon Web Services – at the recent AWS re:Invent, we went another step further, unveiling a suite of cloud data management innovations geared towards democratising data to departmental users, developers, data scientists and data engineers across all skill levels. These solutions redefine how departmental users across all levels within an enterprise can find, populate, govern and analyse data on the cloud to move from ingestion to insights in minutes as opposed to weeks and months.

With this enhanced offering, we’re essentially dramatically expanding the user community that gets to directly benefit from the power of our flagship Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) platform. This includes speedy processing of raw data, so people can quickly derive at trusted insights; providing a single point of access to internal and external data so end users have the complete context they need to transform their operations; and enabling users to access the core capabilities of our platform from the comfort of their own IT environment.

It must be a tech leadership priority to enrich, modernise, and democratise data in the cloud data marketplace. What are some optimal strategies to execute the same?

There’s certainly no denying that despite general uncertainty, the cloud continues to rise. Gartner predicts that by next year, 40 percent of all enterprise workloads will be deployed in cloud infrastructure and platform services, up from 20 percent in 2020. And that by 2025, 85 percent of enterprises will have a cloud-first principle.

The cloud shouldn’t, however, be treated simply as a ‘destination’ – while an important first step, transitioning what you were doing on-prem to the cloud does not equal ‘digital transformation’. So absolutely, there are several ways to optimise your strategy to create real, lasting impact.

The first step is to cultivate a data-driven culture – recognising the importance of empowering data users in an organisation to easily find, understand, trust and access the insights they need for data-driven decision making. How do we break down silos between disciplines and business functions? How do we encourage collaboration and knowledge transfer across the enterprise? What is the company’s ultimate vision for digital transformation and how can everyone ladder back to this?

Next is to adopt a comprehensive, multi-cloud data fabric – which ideally should have end-to-end cloud-native data management capabilities. This will enable organisations to make any type of data accessible for all users and realise rapid ROI, as well as improve time to value for any analytics initiatives. To achieve that, you’ll need to automate the entire data lifecycle.

This multi-cloud data fabric is also crucial to ensuring that data is clean, trusted and ready to consume. People need to know that they’re accessing role appropriate insights that comply with local laws and data privacy legislations. Our IDMC platform, for example, is fueled by our CLAIRE AI and ML-powered engine, which can provide metadata intelligence – such as data lineage, who last accessed said data, where it’s been categorised etc.

What’s next in the cloud’s evolution and acceleration? Elaborate on its emerging trends, challenges and opportunities for Asia Pacific in 2023.

The demand for trusted and rapid analytic insights will only continue to grow. The winners in this new economic climate will prove to be the companies who have the most agile and robust data and analytics foundations.

In 2023, we are also going to see rapid adoption of AI as an enabling technology with the emergence of next generation AI such as ChatGPT. Informatica has been ahead of this trend with our CLAIRE AI-engine that accelerates and automates data management tasks.

Organisations will need to focus on regulatory compliance and data sovereignty and the need for robust data protection will become even more acute. As the need for data fueled by new AI and analytics demands continue to accelerate.

Before we bid adieu, Rik, as businesses try to automate processes, give your key advice to CIOs and tech leaders with regard to building a next-gen cloud-oriented approach.

Here are some of the areas you may want to consider:

  • Scalability: Can your architecture scale in terms of performance and services for enterprise-wide deployments?
  • Piece by piece: Multi-cloud, modular, and/or microservices-based architecture lets you start small and grow at your own pace
  • Automation: By embedding AI into your architecture, you can automatically reduce time to value and provide built-in intelligence
  • Democratised: Can all users take advantage of trusted data and is data widely, quickly and securely available when it’s needed?
  • Governance: To ensure insights can be trusted and are always compliant

In a nutshell, a next-gen enterprise architecture must support the entire data ecosystem, which includes the ability to ingest, stream, integrate, and cleanse data. It must also be able to enrich, prepare, master, govern, protect, and deliver all types of data to a growing number of data consumers to improve decision-making, power advanced and predictive analytics, and enhance business outcomes.

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