Everything is data

Some don't realize it yet, but everyone now competes with the digital natives.

While Amazon, Facebook, Google and other “digital native” companies rapidly launch new products and services with a modular, automated, standardized approach (Devops/Agile), traditional companies increasingly struggle to compete because they can’t take advantage of actionable data being held hostage by traditional and SaaS software vendors, legacy systems, and business silos.

Data is the most valuable resource of the 21st century.

Digital natives understand this. As they use data to control more and more of the customer experience, they can extract more margin from companies that produce the products.

Do we really know who our digital competition is? Here are a few examples:

  • Hotels/hospitality: Online travel agents (Priceline.com), Airbnb
  • Professional Services, Healthcare, Dining: Yelp, Google, Opentable, Healthgrades.com
  • Retail: Amazon, Google
  • Marketing: Google and Facebook
  • Consumer product branding and distribution: Amazon, Google Facebook
  • Logistics and Transportation: Fulfilled by Amazon, UBER
  • Media: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google


Case Study: Rackspace

When I joined Rackspace in 2011, we were in a tight race with Amazon for leadership in the cloud; I ran the product team that grew the VMware practice to be one of Rackspace's top businesses. But we fell behind. We couldn’t launch new features fast enough to keep pace with Amazon.      


We had neither the time or resources to replace or fix all the legacy systems laden with technical debt. There was lots of infighting between teams with ownership of the various systems. It was excruciating and got worse over time.

Even when we did launch, new services were often anemic, buggy, and late. I saw my enterprise customers struggle with the same challenges – Migrating applications to the cloud was expensive, time consuming and risky. Upon leaving Rackspace, I realized that the problem wasn’t technical debt, but process and architecture.

Rebuilding the Ship at Sea

So how do traditional companies create new customer experiences to compete with digital natives? The solution is to liberate data with integration that applies a lean, agile, and devops driven methodology to a highly automated, reconfigurable, and open architecture.

To be successful, the technology and process driven approach must avoid re-platforming most legacy apps, future proof the enterprise by providing companies ongoing control over their data, provide for automated release of changes as small as a single data field, and minimize risk by providing the capability to easily prototype use cases.

This approach sets the ground work for the digital enterprise that automates, rapidly reconfigures and scales new use cases for rich data, analytics, IoT and AI.

This is no small task; it requires a strategic view of data and a new unified approach that covers not just what we think of as traditional data, but also integrates and automates across all infrastructure, software, workflows and policies, both on and off the cloud.


Because point solutions make integrating data and scaling use cases harder not easier, a unified, standardized approach to data management across all types of data is a must to support reconfigurability, automation and technical debt avoidance.

The ability to reconfigure data and applications on the fly is required to support new business models and changing competitive situations. An architecture with open source in the data integration layer is required to support this. Proprietary systems, by their very nature, hold data hostage to maximize profits, and prevent companies from having the flexibility needed to adjust to the market.

And finally, the architecture must be purpose designed from the ground up to support enterprise grade features like security, audit and compliance.  We can compete with the digital natives and win, but we need the right data strategy, and the right platform to execute that strategy.

We've created the The PrivOps Matrix to help you get started with this approach by piloting digital integration use cases. You can deploy the integration fabric to the cloud in a few hours and prototype new integration use cases in 1 to 2 months. It’s completely automated, self-deploying to the cloud, and the architecture is designed from the ground up to scale-up across multiple clouds and datacenters employing both Agile and Devops methodologies. It’s also built on open source software meaning you own your data without having to worry about predatory software vendors



Your projects requiring integration would benefit enormously from this new approach, so let’s pilot ways to be more agile like the Amazons and Googles of the world. 


Set your data free, set your company free