Data virtualization benefits impact on both the business and IT. It delivers value in a relatively short period and keeps paying back over time. From a business perspective, getting integrated information faster has resulted in numerous benefits including better customer retention and revenue growth, faster product launches, reduced risk, etc. Customers of ours have reported anywhere from 3-10x ROI when data virtualization was directly linked to revenue or profit growth, but even in other cases there is no doubt that data virtualization is often a huge enabler of business agility. On the IT side, ROI is much more tangible and immediate. For example, one of our insurance customers went on record to say they were able to complete 3x more projects using data virtualization using only one third the number of staff it used to require. Another biotech customer said projects were completed 60% faster and required 40% less analyst time. A cable operator compared the operational resources needed to maintain and govern an integration solution based on data virtualization to be 5-6x less costly than either EAI or ETL processes of comparable complexity. Each of these examples makes sense when you consider that data virtualization dramatically reduces needless data replication and the ensuing governance costs.
Looking beyond the immediate ROI or payback that can be achieved from a single project, data virtualization continues to provide significant ROI over the long term. Not only is everything that has been created in the virtual data layer reusable with relatively minimal effort, it is also easy to incrementally add sources on the one side and users or output data services on the other. When this happens organizations create what Forrester Research calls their “data assets” strategy. Today many companies have data assets but they are siloed and not used beyond a narrow purpose. With data virtualization, you unlock these data assets so they are shared across many business objectives and applications. As a result, data virtualization delivers both immediate ROI on short term projects and a greater Return on Data Assets or ROA across the enterprise in the long term.
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