By Shantan Kethireddy, VP of Customer Solutions
As we start a new year, it’s worth a moment to reflect. The most unequivocal finding from Ocient’s 2023 Beyond Big Data report: 99.4% of businesses surveyed say they’re urgently trying to solve for the increasing complexity of data they analyze.
So, what’s holding them back? The well-known problem is lacking tech stacks—too slow, too siloed, and underpowered for hyperscale analysis. That’s why we’re seeing a big push for businesses to re-platform.
But it’s a lack of people—specifically IT resource and skills gaps—that have become the insidious limiting factor to hyperscale transformation in many organizations. Nearly half of respondents (40%) said a lack of available talent prevents them from harnessing data analytics in its full capacity.
Pressure to create data-driven advantage pushing more companies to re-platform
The priority on improving data analytics is coming from the top: C-suites and boards now recognize the critical necessity of building new data-driven advantages. Indeed, our 2023 Beyond Big Data survey showed 70% of companies plan to use enhanced data analytics to drive innovative products, services and revenue streams.
But the brunt of that challenge falls squarely on the shoulders of internal IT and data science teams. Their time is already filled (if not over-stuffed) with the logistics of “just keeping the lights on”: maintaining legacy solutions across multiple environments and building ad hoc data pipelines to connect data streams. Now, businesses are looking to these internal teams to drive analytics-powered innovation—from handling requests from business units for on-demand reporting to developing new analytics use cases and executing on new business strategies.
The good news is that more organizations are recognizing the need to modernize tech stacks. More than half (55%) outright admit that data is growing too fast for them to harness its full capacity. And whether they admit to feeling behind or not, 95% of organizations say they’re actively investing in enhancing data analytics infrastructure. Two in three organizations are looking at major re-platforming, including switching to a new data warehouse provider.
Outdated tech adds to the talent gap—but tech alone isn’t the answer
But re-platforming isn’t a magic bullet. That’s because re-platforming isn’t plug-and-play. Migrating to a new data warehouse or analytics platform brings its own resource demands. And building the foundational data quality to fuel those platforms is a never-ending effort.
Internal IT teams, already stretched thin, end up pulled between what businesses want to do with hyperscale data analytics—and the logistics of implementing the tech tools needed to do those things. And the added demands increase burnout, which only exacerbates the problem.
The resource mismatch: Deploying new tools vs. using new tools
Here’s a common scenario: the CFO finally gives in and approves the budget for re-platforming—but she’s expecting this tech transformation to deliver immediate, magical ROI. Yet the reality is that internal resources are fully consumed (and often overwhelmed) with the logistics of deploying the new solution/toolset. They can’t really use the new tools until they’re fully deployed.
With broader economic volatility making “do more with less (or same)” the C-suite rallying cry, it’s tough for anyone to make a case for adding more internal resources.
At best, this talent gap is drastically slowing time to revenue. All too often, the most critical technical resources in a business unit are consumed with re-platforming for months or years. And the risk of the re-platforming stalling out is very real, failing to deliver business value. The post-mortem blames the technology, when it’s the talent gap that’s fatally stalling deployment and optimization of new tech and/or limiting the ability to fully use those new tools.
Ocient helping organizations bridge skills gaps to accelerate ROI
Re-platforming is no small undertaking, yet there’s little remaining question that it’s a critical step to build hyperscale advantage. Companies are wise to not lose focus on putting new tools to use. Otherwise, you’ve effectively purchased an expensive engine that’s just sitting in your garage.
But there’s another transportation analogy that’s relevant here: Leadership naturally wants to embrace the “build the plane while you’re flying” approach—the C-suite and board want to see ROI ASAP. Indeed, the pace of modern business and the realities of hyper-competitive markets make speed paramount. Yet pulling this off requires expertise in both building and flying a plane. These are generally not the same people—and they cannot be the same people if you’re going to tackle these two challenges simultaneously.
Ocient is helping organizations, like Dun & Bradstreet, shift the most important technical people resources from re-platforming and managing technology to focusing on workload innovation and business differentiation.
This is where innovation happens that leads to new revenue and cost savings. We’re humbled to help the talent gap. The Ocient Customer Solutions and Workload Services team has expanded our re-platforming services, bringing both the experience-based expertise and the on-demand resources to bring best practices to life in both deployment and optimization. We’re not only helping organizations to build out their hyperscale data warehousing and analytics engines—we’re helping them get key business strategies off the ground immediately, with a focus on unlocking innovation and delivering on the promise of automation and AI.
Learn how Ocient’s Customer Solutions team provides a unique and comprehensive set of services to accelerate time to value and deliver rapid ROI. Let Ocient prove (even before any purchase) how to shift your most critical technical resources from managing environments to unlocking innovation and revenue starting today.