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Article

What Is the "Best" Data Virtualization Best Practice?

If I could recommend just one best practice, what would it be?

If I could only recommend one data virtualization best practice, what would it be?

Hmmm!  With over a couple of hundred data virtualization implementations under Composite's belt, the answer is simple - Implement a Data Virtualization Competency Center!

Why a Data Virtualization Competency Center?
The reason is simple as well.  A Data Virtualization Competency Center can be IT's expressway to delivering Business and IT value.

Take a look at a recent Data Virtualization Leadership blog, by my colleague Peter Tran What Business and IT Problems Can Data Virtualization Solve?

Peter points out a number of benefits.  So why not leverage data virtualization widely across your enterprise?

Nexus for Enterprise-scale Data Virtualization
And a Data Virtualization Competency Center is the nexus for an enterprise-scale approach that successfully will let you combine and evolve the people, process and technology required to achieve all the business and IT benefits that data virtualization can deliver.

These are lesson well learned with other important technologies, for example BI, where Gartner published research on BI Competency Centers as early as 2002 with BI Competency Center Is Core to BI Success.

Time and Money - Gaining Data Virtualization Benefits
A Data Virtualization Competency Center Services can help ensure rapid return on your data virtualization investments, accelerating time-to-value by:

  • Ensuring a unified, complete data virtualization strategy and architecture that supports rapid execution
  • Concentrating subject matter expertise to resolve data virtualization design and development issues quicker
  • Reusing objects to save development time

Further, a Data Virtualization Competency Center can help reduce total cost of ownership by:

  • Optimizing internal and external staffing across multiple data virtualization projects and activities
  • Better utilizing data virtualization infrastructure
  • Developing and ensuring use of best practice methods
  • Anticipating and proactively overcoming obstacles thereby avoiding extra costs

Data Virtualization Competency Center Elements
A complete Data Virtualization Competency Center must include the following key elements:

  • Governance & Policies
  • Organization & Skills
  • Data Virtualization Best Practices
  • Data Virtualization Environment Management

But one size doesn't fit all.  I encourage a flexible adoption approach adapted to each organization's unique situation and needs. For example, your Data Virtualization Competency Center strategy and deployment will need to take into account:

  • Data virtualization strategy and adoption maturity
  • Centralized vs. decentralized resources
  • Build and run requirements
  • IT environment
  • Staff skills
  • Alignment with other competency centers

Getting Started with your Data Virtualization Competency Center
One easy way to get started is to extend an existing BI or Data Integration competency center to also include data virtualization.  This way you can leverage their infrastructure, organizational alignment, and lessons learned.

Another good idea is to start small by limiting the scope of functions, projects, or some other way that supports a successful crawl, walk, then run growth strategy.

And remember to publicize your successes.  This will provide momentum and accelerate progress.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.