Application Development

Digital Transformation Begins with Data Agility

As more organizations pursue digital transformation, IT leaders face greater challenges to not only manage the exponential growth of data, volumes, sources and types, but to also support more and more data users, according to findings in the latest IDC report.

Dhiraj Sehgal

Oct 30, 2018

As more organizations pursue digital transformation (DX), IT leaders face greater challenges to not only manage the exponential growth of data, volumes, sources and types, but to also support more and more data users, according to findings in the latest IDC report.

While agile methodologies bring the promise of greater velocity and transparency to software development, data friction is a roadblock to truly being innovative and cost-effective. To remain agile, businesses need to fundamentally change the way they think about data and how they address the growing demand for app development.

Data friction emerges when the demands of data consumers, who are looking to leverage data, are not met by data operations, who control and manage it. As a result, there are a host of quality and consistency issues that introduce delays later in the pipeline.

That’s why IT leaders must aim for a holistic transformation of people, processes and technology to drive success across the organization. We call this DataOps.

DataOps eliminates data inconsistencies and brings data agility through automation that helps organizations realize the full potential of automated software development life cycle pipelines. Here are three key areas that will help you achieve DataOps success.


Developers, tester and operations teams must understand the full lifecycle of their data from sourcing, cleaning, subsetting, securing, provisioning and retirement. From there, teams need to be aligned on goals and objectives, such as increasing release cadence, reducing data-related defects or increasing test frequency.


Teams must adopt an “automation-first” policy for data, and manual data processes should only be by documented exception. Manual security controls should be eliminated, so  automation initiatives encompass key data security processes that improve speed and productivity while mitigating risk.


Enterprises should adopt platform solutions that can be automated through APIs and support multiple data sources and clouds, like Delphix, enabling self-service data requests and fulfillment while providing robust test data management and provisioning capabilities.

Let’s take a global real estate firm as an example. Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is a Fortune 500 company that specializes in real estate and investment management. The company wanted to boost agility and productivity within their software development teams to achieve evolving business needs.

Using innovative technology, their mission was to empower corporate real estate professionals and business leaders to gather meaningful data about their total commercial real estate (CRE) spend, save costs and improve productivity through more strategic real estate planning and management.

With a 5TB data store for its financial and CRM application suite, JLL found that replicating that amount of data, potentially more than one time, was time-consuming and expensive due to the underlying storage infrastructure. With increased software development cycles, replication would become tedious and expensive.

JLL leveraged a combination of technologies with a data platform as the foundational block to accelerate refresh rates and avoid storage system consumption, ultimately enabling a team of 40 developers, who work on release testing and management of the PeopleSoft application, to perform realistic qualification of the application using near-live data.

Specifically, through data virtualization technology, JLL was able to consolidate the company’s 5TB data into a virtual platform; create and refresh data sets in minutes through using a self-service approach instead of multi day process; eliminate manual steps, reduce costs through the amount of storage and number of backups required, ultimately accelerating app development.

JLL now has a wide array of applications for market analysis, geolocation, real estate portfolio strategy, building performance, and maximize clients and their tenant investments.

Digital transformation begins with applications that are built to deliver a truly digital-first experience from a multitude of data, user, and machine inputs that in turn, provides direct responses and insights to customers.