The Role of Data Virtualization in Digital Transformation
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Digital transformation is top-of-mind for executives in all of the major companies. By engaging in digital transformation, organizations can easily leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, interactive applications, and bots, to strengthen their fundamental business models while streamlining interactions with customers, partners, suppliers, and their own employees.

Traditionally, applications were developed in a monolithic way, in that each application’s functionality, user interface, databases, and logic were built into single independent stacks. One of the core ideas of digital transformation is to connect these separate stacks via application programing interfaces (APIs) or data services, which enable applications to interact with each other in microservices, or composite services. By combining applications in this way, developers have created a number of modern offerings, such as mobile solutions for banking, ride-sharing, hotel reservations, optimizing the supply chain, and ordering parts.

However, if each application is still associated with its own database, inconsistent results are a natural outcome. For this reason, it’s critical to furnish all applications with a common data source, and data virtualization makes that possible in the quickest, most efficient way.   

Data Virtualization: The Right Architecture

Data virtualization establishes a single, real-time data access layer across multiple data sources, integrating data without replicating it. With such an architecture, applications focus on their user interface and business logic while pushing all of the data integration work down to the common data virtualization layer. Because data from the data virtualization layer can be reused across all applications, this architecture enables fundamental consistency. A data virtualization layer also provides a single point from which to manage and enforce data governance and data privacy protocols across multiple different data sources.  

A common data access layer, enabled by data virtualization, is not only important for analytical or informational applications such as business intelligence, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence. It is also highly relevant to the operational context of business applications.

The Denodo Platform, a leading data virtualization platform, is unique in being able to provide very strong capabilities around data services. The Denodo Platform can expose the data in a wide variety of forms, including RESTful and/or SOAP APIs, as well as JSON and GeoJSON formats. It supports GraphQL and other query languages beyond SQL. The Denodo Platform can interact with geospatial data as well as with extremely agile application layers. By leveraging the Denodo Platform to provide data services to operational applications, organizations can easily create single-customer-view portals, mobile applications, richly functional bots, and other powerful solutions.

Real-World Examples

One Denodo customer is a large financial services company with four different application development teams. Each provides portfolio information, asset trading information, and asset settlement information, to a variety of different departments, but they all work with the same data layer enabled by the Denodo Platform.

Another Denodo customer is a fast food restaurant that wanted to develop a mobile application for ordering food. Rather than having the application talk to several different databases, they leveraged the Denodo Platform to create a single logical layer that provides the menu, nutritional value, ingredient information, and where the food is available. The restaurant seamlessly combines these different data services to create the interactions of the mobile application.

One last example (though Denodo has many more customer stories on the site), a large semiconductor company leveraged the Denodo Platform to create a unified logical view of the company’s suppliers and then exposed different aspects of this view, as data services, to over 70 applications.

The Fast Track to Digital Transformation

The most efficient architecture for digital transformation is to provide applications with a common data services layer enabled by data virtualization. In addition to providing extended support for data services, the Denodo Platform supports the development of data services in a few hours, in contrast with using other tools, which can take weeks to develop a single data service. Explore our Denodo Platform pages to learn more.

Suresh Chandrasekaran