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The Future of Data Management: Five Predictions for 2022

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Read more about author Mark Van de Wiel.

As many have said, data is everything and everything is data. 

And the fact remains that the highest-value data sits in transactional databases behind applications like ERP, CRM, etc. To get the most out of data, it must be consolidated from many systems to unlock valuable business insights and feed applications such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

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From that perspective, it’s interesting to ponder what the future holds. What are the Data Management trends that will advance or emerge in 2022? Five predictions:

1. ML/AI adoption will accelerate.

OK, that may be an obvious one, but I’m making it my No. 1 prediction for a reason: It’s becoming clear that machine learning and artificial intelligence are generational mega-trends, like mobile phones and cloud computing before it, on an inexorable march to widespread adoption. 

The pandemic has only magnified ML/AI’s appeal to businesses on a number of fronts – whether it’s understanding customers better, automating supply chain functions, or eliminating repetitive internal processes – as they aim to digitally transform faster.

And this means ML/AI systems will get better and better. As Gartner put it: “Organizations will begin to require a lot more from AI systems, and they’ll need to figure out how to scale the technologies – something that up to this point has been challenging.”

Expect companies to up their game in preparing data – the lifeblood of AI and its subset, machine learning – to be easier and more accurate than ever for feeding AI applications.

2. As-a-service will move further to the forefront.

Organizations of all sizes have broadly adopted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivered via the cloud as an alternative to on-premises hardware and software methods of deploying a vast range of applications, from Salesforce to Microsoft Office. The trend will quicken in 2022 as the cloud providers continue to innovate in this area and provide more and more SaaS options. Microsoft recently launched a new way of running SQL Server in the cloud. Amazon Web Services also released another way of running Oracle in the cloud. 

Data replication is one example of a category that has been underserved in the as-a-service arena but that is moving more to the model. 

Organizations continue to feel more comfortable with the as-a-service model for a wider array of applications and infrastructure services, and that trend will only keep growing.

3. The Big Three public cloud providers will get company.

The dominant cloud providers – Amazon (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud (and Alibaba Cloud in the Asia-Pacific region) – are about to get some competition. I predict that in the next year, two will be added as relevant cloud providers: Oracle and SAP. 

I think companies will want to leverage the cloud for the best Oracle and SAP have to offer, which is the Oracle Database and the SAP ERP environment, respectively. Oracle and SAP solutions are available in other clouds, but not quite with the best possible performance/efficiency/flexibility as they would in their own clouds. Oracle has been striving to be a bigger cloud player for years – 2022 may be when it finally happens.

4. CDC will become a bigger priority.

No, not that CDC. This CDC stands for Change Data Capture and describes a set of software design patterns governing how data is replicated in real time. As its name implies, CDC identifies changes and can then synchronize incremental changes with another system or store an audit trail of changes.

As it becomes ever-more important for organizations to move data non-intrusively around the enterprise quickly, accurately, and securely, CDC will increasingly be talked about as the go-to foundation for synchronizing data among different systems and audit the trail of changes.

5. “Data fabric” will be a popular buzzword.

Nothing to do with clothes, data fabric refers to a combination of Data Management architecture and technology that can optimize access to distributed data and intelligently curate and orchestrate it for delivery to users. 

Gartner says, “As data becomes increasingly complex and digital business accelerates, data fabric is the architecture that will support composable data and analytics and its various components. Data fabric reduces time for integration design by 30 percent, deployment by 30 percent and maintenance by 70 percent because the technology designs draw on the ability to use/reuse and combine different data integration styles.”

The analyst firm projects that by 2024, “data fabric deployments will quadruple efficiency in data utilization while cutting human-driven data management tasks in half.” As my five predictions show, the world of Data Management is a dynamic area of technology that continues to evolve. I look forward to looking back at the end of the new year and seeing if these predictions come true!

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