API-Driven Data Automation Is Key to Digital Transformation

An API-first data platform increases revenues by $14 million.

Application development is the innovation driver and difference maker for the modern enterprise. IDC forecasts that by 2023 more than 500 million new applications will be developed, which will only widen the chasm between the technically nimble and the legacy encumbered. 

“Enterprise organizations are working to develop engaging applications designed to maintain and capture new business opportunities and grow market share,” IDC analysts state in a recent report. 

But businesses can’t hope to carry out their digital initiatives that give them competitive advantages without streamlined, fast, and automated access to compliant data. That’s why the adoption of an API-first data platform is a key component of driving digital transformation.

IDC conducted research exploring the value and benefits of using Delphix at large enterprises. The interviews assess Delphix’s impact on the enterprises’ IT infrastructure, application development, core business, and cost profiles. 

The companies interviewed had an average of 71,000 employees—supported by an IT organization of more than 10,000 people who manage thousands of business applications for millions of customers. We share some of the topline findings from the report.

Bringing Data into Focus as Part of Digital Transformation

An API-first platform that combines data compliance and data delivery makes the sharing of lightweight, compliant data possible across teams, testing, and other IT processes. IT teams have more time and flexibility to get work done—and innovate—because a platform like Delphix eliminates friction in coordinating work across teams and manual tasks such as database management, infrastructure management, and security management. Overall, IDC found total IT staff productivity saw a 24% improvement and generated $5.3 million in value. 

delphix staff productivity idc

In addition to staff productivity improvements, the research indicated companies with modern data capabilities are best positioned to deal with unplanned outages. Software bugs and usability glitches make up the majority of production operation challenges. When companies trace back to the cause of those defects, a bulk of the errors is due to stale and incomplete data in non-production environments.

Delphix's capability of automating data delivery helped study participants streamline end-to-end integration testing, thereby accelerating and improving testing processes and reducing the number of errors per application by 73%. 

“One of the biggest things is being able to manage data in minutes instead of hours or days,” a user states. “For example, if we want to do parallel testing or regression testing, we can set bookmarks as project teams do their work and they can rewind or fast forward to those bookmarks. We are able to do different kinds of testing within the same environment.”

Application development teams enabled shift-left testing and found bugs earlier in the overall SDLC (software development lifecycle) before hitting UAT (user acceptance testing) or production, making it easier and less expensive to fix. They experienced a reduction in the number of errors reaching UAT by 55%, which reduced the need to retest and recode. As a result, these led to better quality and speed with less rework time. 

defect correction delphix idc

Organizations also saw a substantial cutback in unplanned downtime incidents by 65%, and deployment of the platform enabled users to reclaim 76% of the time they were losing due to application downtime. IDC determined that these organizations were clawing back about $72,000 in lost revenue through improved data availability. 

Optimizing Customer Experience With High Speed and Performance 

Cloud computing has become a central and indispensable element of the current digital ecosystem. The transition from on-premise databases to hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environments becomes a whole lot easier when streamlining all phases of cloud migration—from identifying and securing sensitive information, to replicating data to the cloud and testing migrated applications ahead of cutover and go-live. 

On average, companies using this solution dramatically cut the time required to move data from on-premises to the cloud from 16 hours to less than 2 hours—a 91% reduction.

In addition, IDC found that, according to the majority of Delphix users, developers are spending less time waiting for data and more time building software because of their ability to create and refresh development environments using the platform. With these improvements, companies saw a considerable reduction in the development cycle by 40%, leaving more time for coding. 

delphix dev stage time reduction idc

Cost Savings That Drive Innovation

By fostering improvement, study participants cited significant cost savings related to productivity and infrastructure. 

“We were using more than two petabytes of storage across 6 or 7 arrays. To refresh that hardware would have cost more than $5-6 million,” one user says. 

Overall, organizations using Delphix’s API-first data platform were able to reduce their annual data operations costs by $15.3 million. Sixty percent of companies saw a 1% annual growth (or $14 million) in revenue.  At a time when companies are facing disruption from multiple forces—growing customer expectations, the impact of a pandemic, and consistent pressure to innovate—they can’t afford to be bogged down by inefficient data processes and operations.

By incorporating API-based automation, every company can become a data company. And a growing data company at that. 

Read more stories about data-driven innovation in the 2020 issue of Data Company Magazine

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