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Embarcadero Technologies Defines New Strategic Data Management Approach

    Online News published in DMReview.com
October 28, 2005

Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. announced a new approach for optimizing how organizations can leverage corporate data assets to achieve greater business value. Embarcadero Strategic Data Management (SDM) fosters essential practices that enable organizations to enhance the availability, integrity, accessibility, and security of enterprise data assets. SDM delivers the global visibility and operational efficiencies that IT professionals need to design, deploy, manage, and protect a scalable data infrastructure across the enterprise. By offering an integrated approach to data architecture, availability, and security, SDM can help organizations convert corporate data into a truly valuable asset that drives business success.

"Strategic Data Management helps customers establish a progressive approach to managing corporate data," said Stephen Wong, chairman, president, and CEO of Embarcadero Technologies. "Because companies work so hard and spend so much to capture business data, IT executives are very interested in maximizing return on information. However, the sheer size and rapid growth of data in large organizations can make this a formidable challenge. Rather than managing data tactically as a necessary but significant cost of business, customers can assume a more strategic posture with the fundamental goals of driving down costs while making data more relevant to the business and improving the resiliency of the overall data infrastructure."

With the launch of its SDM initiative, Embarcadero is shifting its focus to deliver market solutions that address the global data management issue in three critical areas: enterprise data architecture, availability, and security. The company plans to leverage its established strengths in the fields of data architecture and database administration to deliver even more compelling solutions that meet the challenges of these areas on a broader scale. Recently announced versions of Embarcadero's award-winning products, DBArtisan 8.1 and ER/Studio 7.0, represent significant steps in this new direction. In addition, the acquisition of SHC Ambeo Acquisition Corp. ("Ambeo"), a leader in the emerging market of data auditing, serves as a springboard for delivering a broader suite of data security solutions.

Dangers of the Rising Data Glut

Competitive pressures, regulatory requirements, and the desire to achieve greater operational efficiency are compelling businesses to collect more data each year. Indeed, industry analysts estimate that corporate data is doubling each year with no relief in sight. This unbridled growth places great strains on IT organizations, which must juggle competing demands to absorb growth cost effectively while simultaneously ensuring the availability, relevance, security, and responsiveness of the data infrastructure to changing business and regulatory requirements.

Beyond the scale and growth of corporate data, other technical issues confound the data management challenge. With the accelerating commoditization of computing, data infrastructure is becoming increasingly distributed. Today, it is not unusual for large enterprises to run their businesses on top of hundreds or even thousands of geographically dispersed databases. To make matters worse, most large organizations have failed to standardize on a single database platform, which imposes substantially greater complexity to overcome the technical incompatibilities that typically exist between database software from different vendors. Managing this many disparate and mission-critical systems spread across geographic boundaries and business units is a daunting challenge even for the best funded IT organizations.

Data professionals are already challenged to deliver appropriate service levels to run the business. In order to make corporate data more useful to the business, however, they now must also ensure the consistency, quality, and security of data when managing such a fragmented and complex data infrastructure. Given the many challenges, it is no wonder that IT organizations struggle just to keep up with basic demands. Accordingly, the risks are very real that an organization will fail to achieve a proper return on the considerable investments made in its data infrastructure. For large organizations in certain industries, annual spending on corporate databases can exceed a billion dollars.

"Most companies store business data in a fashion that supports their business application architecture. Because their business applications mirror the organizational structure, so does their data," writes Ted Friedman, vice president, research, Gartner Group, in his recent report entitled "Enterprise Information Management is a Core Element of Your IT Architecture." "The bad news is that information about things and objects gets split up and gets stored in a manner that meets the needs of the presentation tools that users access. This leads to locally optimal use of data (by department) but a lack of effectiveness for multidisciplinary needs. As the boundaries between departments break down, and as boundaries between application domains like CRM, supplier relationship management (SRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and PLM continue to erode, there is a growing need to create an enterprisewide information strategy to ensure semantic consistency and persistence for all users, applications and services."

The Disciplines of Strategic Data Management: Enterprise Data Architecture, Data Availability, and Data Security

Data management is a core competency area for every IT organization. Because of its central importance to information technology, data management as a topic is understandably broad and deep. With its intense focus on solving customer data problems since its founding 13 years ago, Embarcadero has had the opportunity to study the fundamental challenges of modern data management through its exposure to a diverse customer base that it has built over the years. The concepts underpinning SDM represent a culmination of this research, as Embarcadero has synthesized and integrated its thinking on key leverage points that customers can employ to harness corporate data for competitive advantage.

SDM defines a transition from a tactical, project-by-project approach to a holistic approach that fosters the proactive planning, execution, and management of corporate data on a broad scale. SDM calls for a global approach to data management in three essential disciplines: enterprise data architecture, availability, and security.

  • Data Architecture: The scale and growth of corporate data dictates the need for an overall strategy concerning the future of data and how it will support a business over time. Embracing data architecture at the enterprise level will give an organization global oversight into the data assets that it owns. Given the highly distributed and, therefore, fragmented data infrastructures that exist, customers often find tremendous opportunity to rationalize and consolidate disparate data stores.

By establishing the practice of enterprise data architecture, customers can gain control over global metadata and start to define, implement, and enforce consistent data standards across all of their businesses. In this manner, they can drive down costs by eliminating redundant data and streamlining or simplifying the requirements for integration. At the same time, customers can improve the business value and reliability of data by preventing the erosion of quality that naturally occurs when data proliferates across so many database instances.

  • Data Availability: According to Gartner, most companies spend between 70 - 85 percent of their IT budgets on managing and maintaining production systems. Considering the pace of data growth, IT executives are particularly motivated to achieve greater efficiency in data management to prevent runaway costs. To realize greater operational efficiencies, organizations must achieve greater capacity utilization across all the software, hardware, and human resources they apply to ensuring the availability and performance of corporate databases.

Within its SDM framework, Embarcadero is promoting a global approach to managing all the databases in an organization, regardless of their type, in an effort to deliver highly efficient, standardized, and repeatable database administration practices. This strategic approach to data availability encompasses proactive performance management and monitoring, cross-platform administration, high quality database development and tuning, and efficient backup and recovery processes.

  • Data Security: Data security plays a vital role in protecting the privacy of sensitive information, detecting and preventing fraud, and ensuring regulatory compliance. Despite heavy investments to secure network perimeters and to prevent malicious activity on individual computers, data security breaches continue to occur with alarming frequency. The explosive growth of corporate data and increased sensitivity to the insider threat are motivating organizations to consider securing sensitive data stores from the inside-out.

The acquisition of Ambeo is a springboard for Embarcadero's entry into the field of data security. (Please refer to today's press release "Embarcadero Technologies Completes Acquisition of Data Security Solutions Leader Ambeo - Move Signals Company's Aggressive Push into Data Security Market.") Ambeo's products offer a robust solution for data auditing and activity monitoring for many of the popular database platforms in use today. The Ambeo acquisition represents a key entry point for introducing a comprehensive suite of data security solutions aimed at helping customers mitigate the risks of capturing sensitive information in their corporate databases.

For more information on Strategic Data Management and how it can help organizations leverage data to achieve key business objectives, please visit http://www.embarcadero.com/solutions/solutions.html.


For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Database/Application Performance.

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