How Teradata and Okera Data Tools have shone in the data modernization battlefield

On October 27, 2022, Acceleration Economy hosted a “Data Modernization Battleground” online event, where leading data tool vendors were invited to pitch their products to a panel of Acceleration Economy analysts. Here’s what we learned and my thoughts on the products.

First up: Teradata

Imagine that! Teradata – one of the OG data storage/analytics companies that started in the 1970s as central unit “database appliance” builder – part of a 2022 cloud event! I remember the excitement we mainframe database geeks felt in the 1980s when we learned that a database machine was being built to store and analyze a terabyte of data (a capability first realized, according to Wikipedia, in 1992!).

Teradata DBC/1012. Source: Teradata 1987 brochure

It’s quite a story, involving numerous horizontal and industry-specific company acquisitions and integrations Data analysis companies (plus an acquisition and spin-off of Teradata itself) and a potential pivot from device builder to on-premises/hybrid/cloud big data analytics software and services company. Today’s Teradata, while offering on-premises hardware for customers who need it, markets itself as providing “enterprise data analytics for a Multi Cloud World.”

In 40 years I have known Teradata, through its many evolutions and reinventions, two things have remained constant:

  1. Enterprise Customer Service and Support Levels
  2. Deep knowledge
    • data storage/analysis
    • vertical industry regulations, terminology and nuances

For most CIOs, the name Teradata means “expensive systems for solving very large data problems”. While this may have been true when they were selling cutting-edge, powerful, low-volume hardware appliances, the “cloud effect” – massive investments in standardized hardware by large-scale cloud providers – allows Teradata to focus on middle market customers as well as their traditional enterprise accounts. And that’s great news for CIOs who need enterprise quality at midscale scale and cost.

Today’s Teradata is focused on their Advantage product line, a multi-cloud and hybrid architecture that provides a “one-stop-shop” for data analytics needs. Teradata’s Vantage environment means that your database support engineers and data scientists can stop caring so much about “where” the data is and spend their time focusing on how to turn big data into actionable insights. And Teradata’s 40 years of experience supporting mission-critical applications at some of the largest enterprises in the most regulated industries means that its products, backed by its experienced consultants, can help CIOs and data science teams data from medium and large companies to design, install and operate “information factories” adapted to your sector and your scale.

As CIO, I’m happy to partner with a company like Teradata that combines depth, breadth and experience. And as a former mainframer now embracing the cloud, I’m thrilled that Teradata has retained the best elements of the old appliance builder by embracing modern cloud architectures to solve today’s problems.

Then Okera

As a CIO who made a living by “fixing broken computer (information technology) stores”, I have witnessed some truly horrific data security situations. One clue that you have a problem is that adding someone to a team means custom configuring security rules for their data access. This leads to inconsistent rules, rules that are too coarse (“all payrolls” rather than “Texas payrolls”), and rule proliferation (I’ve seen 9 million security rules for a company of 3,000 people). And these issues prevent legitimate employees from being productive, allow unauthorized access to sensitive data, and dramatically increase IT administration and auditing costs. (Do you know how much a Big 4 partner charges?)

cyber security is a problem at the board level of most, if not all, companies. Here’s a news flash for administrators: your CIO and CISO may be working hard and sweating details, but in most companies their assurances that “we’ve got everything under control” are more tenuous than you’d like. (and one day to one “derivative trial” be won against some of you).

The enemies of security are complexity and access. If we have a database and an application, it’s easy. But real-world businesses may have thousands of applications and databases (and each database may have thousands of data fields of varying sensitivity) and thousands of users who need varying access. to these data fields and applications. Traditional data security controls were contained within every application and database, so making a change (adding a user or implementing a new policy restricting access) could involve hundreds of interactions across those myriad systems. .

What if data owners and stewards (i.e. IT and security database administrators) had a central “dashboard” that allowed them to monitor and manage access to data in applications, databases and clouds – across the enterprise? To me, as an overworked CIO, this sounds like heaven! And that’s what Okera Is.

Okera provides a full range data governance environment. It allows an organization to discover and classify its sensitive data; implement and manage platform-independent data access policies; apply these access policies in real time; and audit data access. Consolidated and coordinated data governance:

  • reduces manual “one-time” and “emergency” data access requests (ask your help desk or security operations center how many of those they handle!)
  • allows regulation and compliance that changes are applied more easily and consistently throughout the company,
  • provides a defensive weapon to your cybersecurity team when a change to have to be done at present in response to an “incident” (the polite term for a possible attack),
  • and reduces your audit and regulatory compliance burden (I bet you don’t know how much you spend in the business, but it’s more than you think!)

In the acceleration economy, organizations need to move faster despite growing threats from bad guys. Okera provides a platform that expedites legitimate data access requests while strengthening your security defenses. If you have this problem – and you do – check out Okera.


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