4 Keys to Overcoming the Pitfalls of Data Integration Point Solution Providers in Your Modern Data Stack
The modern data stack (MDS) provides a complete, end-to-end solution for the collection, processing, analyzing and presentation of data built on an AI-driven, cloud-native technology. It’s faster, more cost-effective, more scalable and more accessible than the traditional data stack. The MDS also helps organizations transition into a modern, data-driven organization, which is critical for driving business success.
Data integration point solution providers (PSPs) are partnering up and positioning themselves as a one-stop shop for building your MDS. However, instead of helping you derive value from your data, PSP solutions create unnecessary overhead and complexity.
How Data Integration from Multiple PSPs Can Lead to Chaos
Let me give you an analogy to underscore the problem.
Imagine you want to travel from San Francisco to London. And your travel agent tells you the best way is to drive for a couple of hours by car, then take a bus, and ultimately a ship to make your way to London. The agent also promises you that even though the car rental company is independent from the bus and ship operators, these services will be seamlessly integrated, and you will have the most comfortable journey in the shortest possible time without any hassle. Would you buy in? Of course not! You would just take a direct flight from San Francisco to London.
This is exactly how customers are misguided by PSPs. First, to solve a simple use case, you will need to deal with multiple PSPs. Whenever you have a new or adjacent use case, your PSP will introduce a new partner, resulting in a web of isolated solutions in no time. Imagine your conversation going as follows:
- “Hey there. You have a metadata problem? Here is our partner who can help.”
- “You have a monitoring and alerting problem. We can’t help with that but why don’t you reach out to [another vendor name] who has terrific data observability solutions.”
PSPs promote themselves as having a common vision, seamless integration and a shared roadmap — that they operate as a single, unified entity. This cannot be further from the truth. The PSPs are helping each other fill gaps in their product portfolios. And you, as the customer, are assuming several risks:
- That these capabilities are not seamlessly integrated
- That this may cost you extra money
- That it will take extra time and effort to engage with multiple vendors
At the end of the day, you may turn into a systems integrator and waste your quality time and energy in integrating various PSP products.
Recent Example of Chaos Created by a PSP Vendor: 4 Drawbacks
Recently a PSP data integration vendor dropped their support for a key feature…and then asked customers to go to another PSP for a similar function. Sound familiar?
From the PSP’s perspective, it’s an easy switch and entirely to their benefit — no investment in the feature, no roadmap considerations, no support issues. But for you, it is entirely non-trivial. You need to account for multiple critical factors before making this kind of change, as noted below.
1. Cost and complexity: Mandating the use of another PSP to solve a technical use case not only introduces additional complexity to the overall technology landscape; it also increases the total cost of ownership. In the above example, you now must bear additional infrastructure costs.
“Most of our time is spent just trying to understand and integrate these point solutions, as they don’t integrate and interoperate in the way they are supposed to.” — PSP customer
2. Skill sets: Most organizations are resource constrained as data engineers and ETL developers are always in high demand, and they are expensive and difficult to hire and retain. According to Glassdoor, over the last five years, job openings for data engineers have grown by 30%, which is significantly higher than average job growth in the U.S.1 PSPs can make it even more complicated by forcing you to hire or train resources on different point solutions.
3. Code migration/testing: The migration between point solutions is extremely challenging because most often there is little coordination between them. Migration introduces additional scope, complexity and points of failure. This increases overall project speed, cost, and risk, and creates constant roadblocks in deriving value out of data.
“Any migration is always risker than a brand-new implementation.” — PSP customer
4. Support and maintenance: PSPs market themselves as “easy to get started” solutions. However, you could face numerous operational roadblocks and inefficiencies due to disparate vendors: different support teams and customer support managers, pricing, contracts, subscriptions, terms, conditions, release cadences, upgrade cycles, etc. The list is endless. And if on a bad day something breaks in production, that’s it — PSPs start the blame game.
“Wow! It took more than two months just to figure out whose problem it was.” — PSP customer
How Comprehensive Cloud Data Management Can Help You Avoid PSP Pitfalls
Data is critical to the success of your business. Storage, infrastructure, tools, ecosystem, deployment methods, consumption, etc. are bound to change. And will keep changing. To help, you need a unified data management solution that is:
- Agile, dynamic and future proof
- Simple, scalable and fully automated
- Backed by a commitment to support and maintenance, which leads to a lower total cost of ownership
Informatica has been at the forefront of the data revolution for the last two decades, continuously innovating in the data management space. We are guided by our “We DATA” values, where “T” stands for “Think Customer First.” We are extremely customer-centric, always focused on what’s right, and do the right things that put the customer first — front and center.
Below are examples of how the Informatica Intelligent Data Management Cloud™ (IDMC) has helped customers resolve their data challenges.
- Cost and complexity
- Our usage-based pricing and CLAIRE®-powered FinOps run-time control knobs help provide effective cost governance.
- Our cost optimization engine with auto tuning, auto scaling and auto healing capabilities further helps enterprises lower their TCO.
- Our deep integration with cloud ecosystems and broad support for just about any deployment patterns — cloud, distributed, multi-cloud, on-premises, hybrid architectures — can help you future-proof your infrastructure with zero or minimal maintenance cost.
“With Informatica and Snowflake, we’re democratizing data across the university while improving operational efficiency. We’re making data much more accessible. This enables reporting in less time while helping to improve information security and reduce operating costs.”
—University of New Orleans
- Skill sets
- Irrespective of skill set, our CLAIRE-powered intelligent automation and support for both no code/low code developer personas help our customers work on an open data management platform.
- Our out-of-the-box templates, intuitive workspaces, accelerators and wizards cut down up to 80% of our customers’ design and development work.
“We chose Informatica and Snowflake because the tools are easy to use, they do everything we need, and we only need to train our team on two technologies. The power of Informatica is that we can do ETL, ELT, and mass ingestion at scale, all with a single integrated cloud platform, to deliver trusted information to our data consumers.”
- Code migration/testing
- Informatica provides automated migration with validation whenever it has deprecated or brought in the latest capabilities.
- Informatica has helped ensure that customers succeed with technological disruptions — right from mainframes, data warehouses, big data, and Hadoop to cloud data warehouses/lakes, lakehouses, etc.
- Informatica has automated the conversion of over 90% of customers’ on-premises mappings to a cloud data management platform (one of the biggest challenges of a cloud modernization initiative).
“Having a flexible integration platform like Informatica’s [cloud solution] is necessary for us to stay in business, and it’s fueling a lot of our growth.”
- Support and maintenance
- Providing our customers with outstanding service is the foundation of Informatica’s commitment to innovation and excellence.
- Informatica’s products and capabilities strive to ease the need for maintenance and support, thereby reducing the overall cost of ownership.
- Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA) has awarded Informatica with the 2022 Star Award for innovation and excellence in three categories: Customer Growth & Renewal, Customer Success and Support Services Automation, along with inclusion in the TSIA’s “Hall of Fame.”
“Informatica [cloud solutions] makes our lives easier by helping us concentrate on the important aspects of our business and leaving the integration to somebody else.”
Next Steps to Implement a Modern Data Stack
The modern data stack (MDS) is designed to add agility, scalability and accessibility to an organization’s modern data and analytics initiatives. An MDS helps address cost overruns, resource constraints and technology/implementation challenges. When planning to build your data platform, don’t fall into the trap of a PSP’s false promises of providing an MDS solution. Instead, here are three tips to consider when planning to implement an MDS:
- Assess your current and future data architecture requirements.
- Pick the data integration vendor that can help you seamlessly move from your current to your future architecture with minimum cost and risk and at high speed.
- Select a stable vendor with a comprehensive data integration portfolio that will support your data vision and your business as it grows.
Learn more about Informatica’s Intelligent Data Management Cloud — the only platform you will need for practically any of your data management needs.