Build your technology layers on a cloud data foundation

The modern enterprise is comprised of a complex set of application stacks that span a disparate variety of virtual machines, physical servers, and proprietary storage hardware. Tentacles reach from headquarters, branch and remote offices, and offshore facilities around the world to technology stacks, SaaS providers and a multitude of applications.

Over the years layer after layer of technology has accumulated, but rather than replace what came before, we simply built on top through a long series of incremental decisions and implementations. For many, mainframes were bolstered by a client-server layer that moved into data centers. Web technology added SaaS beyond our data centers before virtualization and server consolidation reorganized everything into more manageable chunks.

Mobile computing, the Internet of Things, and regulatory restrictions on data retention have all contributed to rapid data growth, making it increasingly difficult to understand, manage, and secure everything. As we move to the cloud, big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence are creating more layers. We might term these layers the Archeological Dig of Technology.  A typical company has many of these layers, as shown below.


Over time, the incremental nature of how these technology layers were deployed results in what customers affectionately call their “hairball architectures”; that is, we end up with lots of islands of data and applications all bolted together.  The culmination of so much incrementalism inevitably results in vendor lock-in, spiraling costs to maintain and less business agility due to the compounded layers of complexity that must interconnect to handle evolving business processes and growing demands.

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