Conquering Infrastructure Complexity

Posted by Louisa Cervero | 21-Oct-2020 17:54:33

Today’s modern enterprise relies heavily on solid infrastructure and is crucial in supporting innovative practices within an organisation. However, before organisations can even get to innovation they need to overcome the complexity of their infrastructure. How do businesses ensure that their data management systems, whether on-prem, cloud or hybrid, have the capabilities to drive successful innovation?

Nimbus Ninety members gathered online to discuss the issues presented by complexities in the modern data management environment, and how these demand organisations to constantly evolve. 


As businesses adapt and evolve, so does the necessity for agility and evolution in their IT systems. The evolution of businesses is vital to the success of the innovation process. On top of this need for fast-moving adaption, there are new legal policies in place to protect data through GDPR, which put pressure on IT to protect personal and sensitive data. So how do organisations manage all of this effectively both cost and time-wise? 

John Pocknell, Evangelist from Quest, outlined the four main data management challenges that organisations face in their business journeys:

  • Data diversity
  • Cloud first
  • Business agility 
  • Regulatory compliance

With regards to data diversity, most organisations have between 2-5 different data platforms, making complexity in data management systems an unavoidable fact for organisations. This increased complexity makes it more difficult for businesses to maintain operational control in a frictionless manner. Secondly, the issues that come with cloud are the lack of correct right-sizing of cloud subscriptions and no adequate management of database performance. 

Next, business agility is incredibly important with 38% of CIOs saying that the speed of delivery of database changes was their top driver for database DevOps. Making changes to databases is risky with the necessity of protecting data and the lack of automation of development processes. Finally, regulatory compliance is another challenge that organisations face with 90% of companies feeling vulnerable to insider attack rather than external. This is often due to the volume of data stored across hybrid environments that make protection of personal data and auditing a challenge.

Members then heard from Sathish Kamath, Lead Enterprise Architect at Mars who outlined how Mars’ enterprise architecture enables their digital transformation and innovation. He outlined the three elements:

  • Business transformation roadmaps
  • Architecture governance
  • Risk elimination/technology rationalisation 

The first point, business transformation roadmaps is the top priority to ensure agile innovation. The roadmap must outline what technology capabilities are necessary for the transformation agenda. Secondly, the architecture governance is what happens in the background that allows for agile innovation. Specifically, tying in new technologies into the existing tech and strategies. Finally, risk elimination and technology rationalisation is important in that it enables efficiency and simplifies the process. Overall, these processes lead to a solid foundation of digital capabilities, creating an environment that fosters innovation. 

Sathish then presented three use cases exemplifying the ways in which his team at Mars has facilitated the innovation process. Most notably, is the virtualisation of Halloween for Mars’ line of confectionery in the US. Since trick-or-treating during a pandemic is more or less impossible, Mars created a virtual Halloween experience for kids to take part in instead. It involves gamification by creating a virtual world where kids collect coupons that can then be redeemed at any retailers carrying Mars products - a particularly innovative idea facilitated by Mars’ digital strategies.



The discussion groups focused on several areas, including maximising efficiency, mitigating data risk and managing complexity. 

Members in the first group came to the overall consensus that collaboration is key when it comes to maximising efficiency - exemplified in the way that DevOps brings together different teams. They also discussed setting expectations when starting a new project, and how that is the most important thing to do from the outset. Driving more successful outcomes goes hand in hand with sharing experiences and collaboration. 

The second group discussed the issues with a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to mitigating risk. Members in this discussion also explored the cloud and the risks it brings to data management. Most notably, the sovereignty element of cloud (in terms of the location of data centres and how the policies in those locations) can affect the way data is managed. Generally, the consensus was that classifying data and risk at the data category level as opposed to having a blanket approach is arguably the most effective way to avoid risk across the board. 

Finally, our third group of members discussed how to simplify a hybrid cloud environment and came to the conclusion that the big picture view of linking together people and process is the way forward in these scenarios. One member mentioned the “one pane of glass”, which is about employees using one channel by which to observe the enterprise landscape. This is a helpful approach to ensure that people across the organisation can understand the different elements present in a hybrid cloud environment. 

As Sathish shared, “there is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly”. It is the same for businesses: the path to innovation is not always a clear one, but it can be made clearer by these solutions that help organisations overcome the complexity of data. 


This event was in partnership with Quest, who provide solutions that manage, modernise and secure enterprises across endpoints, on-premises infrastructure and in the cloud.

Topics: Event reports

Written by Louisa Cervero

Louisa is an Editorial Executive at Nimbus Ninety. She produces our summits and finds the most disruptive innovators in business and technology.

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