Many companies are making the shift and no longer talk about their data stack, company database or of their IT department as division within the company! Data is so core to businesses that it doesn’t make sense to think of the as a department or silos within a company. These terms are antiquated though still in use. I’ve made a clear shift in my coverage away from companies that think like this.
Progressive companies operate on what’s called a “data fabric”: it’s an interwoven cloth made of data threads and various software. Each company will have its own unique composition, pattern, material and weave. The beauty of this that it combines various platforms, data sets and programs and they work together in real time.
Software is not a living thing, but we’re using words that are starting us down the path that one day it will be. Terms like Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy have been decade-long buzzwords and self-healing is a term that I’m hearing more and more these days. Which if we think about it was perfectly predictable because it evolved from these concepts. Data Fabric is seems to go hand in hand with self healing since this is how companies that use this term see their digital footprint.
Data fabric is a seamless system that has real time integration across multiple data silos.
Self-healing means that you have the built-in ability to automatically repair damage, like changes that happen in the real world, without any external diagnosis or human intervention.
At the core of this is Automation which has been a major software trend for quite some time. Automation is becoming deeper and more robust, and if we believe the economic harbingers, we’re headed into an economic downturn. Automation could allow businesses to adapt their business models without laying off employees. It’s a misconception that automation means getting rid of people, it’s usually about reallocation of resources to optimize revenue and output. Making more with what you have to be able to afford more in the future.
The concept of data fabric isn’t just for individual companies.Companies need to collaborate and scale this concept up to the industry level. I’ve been reading about data fabric since roughly 2017. HERE sponsored my trip to CES to have a sit down with their CEO, Edzard Overbeek, who spoke to me of their move towards being a systems provider.
“What we are describing is we’re moving towards a systems approach to solve all use cases. Through strategic partnerships, we don’t think that any company and I would argue, there’s no company that can do this all by themselves. If the problem is too complex to solve you can’t just solve it through a telecoms lens for through a location or through an industry that you need a platform to come together on where companies feel they control their own data sets, but offer that to other participants on the platform.”
The creation of a data fabric where the data is shared but you’re able to maintain control and offer privacy may be a key factor in enabling companies to weave fabrics together while maintaining control of their data and respecting the privacy of their users.
HERE launched this platform in August of 2019, in hopes of becoming the “NASDAQ of location data” a judgement free neutral platform where the market decides the value of the product. But in talking about this, he got me thinking about how we will build our data fabric in the future:
“If you think about economic transitions, the last 10-15 years were the transitions of large tech companies that had vertically ecosystem. But you would give up a lot. And I think that giving up a lot is starting to really resonate with a lot of people, privacy. I didn’t even know they were using my data. We all know the examples. Okay. So the way we designed this platform is very different.
The way we designed this platform is around the same layer so you have your application your industry your content layer and then the platform itself, but it is open, open means it’s no locking, you can bring your data to the platform you own your data. We’re not asking you to give your data to us. You’re in your sandbox, you can manage your data, what we do for you is we cleanse it, we normalize it to standardize it, we tackle we label it. Now, why don’t we do that, so you can index it. And when you can index it you can search for it. You can search for it you can connect it, you can connect it you can build integrated solutions.”
Why I think data fabric and self healing will go hand in hand as trends is data fabric can be self healing. The two are not mutually exclusive but one will often point to the other. HERE Maps is the best example currently on the market today. They announced a partnership with Daimler early last year in which HERE’s maps would be used in their autonomous drive efforts. In 2020 we will start to hear from these more announcements from progressive companies about how automation is healing platforms.
Why Self Healing is important for real time services
HD Maps are an important component for autonomous drive and roads are constantly changing. Construction, accidents or even a sign getting knocked down the real time service, or in this case, the map needs to be updated.
Speaking with Sheila Nedelcu, head of Highly automated driving at HERE, “They’ll use multiple sources to detect is that sign is no longer there and then automatically remove it from our map, so we’re heal our map…Most automated vehicles are using multiple sensor inputs, and the map is just one of those sensors.”
And we’re right back where we started with Data Fabric
Why will Self Healing be a 2020 Trend?
I believe that Self-Healing will become a trend or Buzzword of 2020 because automation has evolved to a point where services like maps and everything smart city related will maintain itself, or become self healing. This is a natural progression of the automation trend and companies are finally beginning to identify which data is valuable.
The term self-healing definitely tugs at my heartstrings. It’s beautiful language that conjures up thoughts of autonomous machines practicing a bit of self love. Am I being overly romantic? You bet! But the maturity of process from focusing on finding ways to collect data to identify which data is valuable is a beautiful thing.