Cloud infrastructure and the ability to automate code deployment have sped up the process of building applications, but those productivity gains have exposed a new problem ⁠— moving data across an enterprise is still painfully slow.

That’s the view of Delphix CMO Monika Saha, who says application development in and of itself has sped up over the last decade but technology teams in large organisations may still find themselves waiting two weeks for the data they need to do their jobs.

“These teams want to move as fast as they possibly can,” Saha told Which-50 during a visit to Australia last week.

“They have solved the challenge of how they spin up and spin down infrastructure for development because they are doing it in the cloud. They solved the challenge of automatically deploying code into multiple environments. What those two things have revealed is the data that they need to build and test applications has become the slowest part of their entire application delivery life cycle.”

Monika Saha, CMO, Delphix

It’s a problem Saha faced in her last role and SaaS company Zuora.

“The challenge I faced in my previous company is as we were building new applications to take to market the time it took for our development teams and our test teams to get realistic data and build those applications was significantly slowing down our delivery time.”

“In addition to that, we had a lot of overhead that we had to account for to keep that data secure as it was distributed to the different teams that needed to build with it.”

Saha joined Delphix nine months ago and her role as CMO involves building awareness of the company’s capabilities to give application development teams access to that data more quickly.

According to Saha, the company’s data platform is used to create lightweight virtual copies of data that has been sourced from different places in the enterprise. The platform also helps govern that data as it moves through the business by masking any sensitive information, and once a member of the app dev team receives their lightweight copy of the data they can create different versions or copies of it.

The incumbents 

The data bottleneck is a challenge incumbents need to overcome as they embrace new ways of developing products and services to compete against the digital insurgents.

The majority of Delphix’s 300 global customers make more than $1 billion in revenue. They tend to operate in highly regulated industries like banking and financial services, insurance, telecom and healthcare, and their data is not only siloed but is sitting in different generations of technology acquired over the last 50 years.

Saha used the example of a banking customer that was trying to build a mobile app for their end customer to manage their account online.

“The data aspect was very complicated because the data the simple mobile app was going to show to the end user was coming from 23 different sources behind the scenes,” Saha said.

“Each of those data sources either came to the bank through an acquisition, or had been around for multiple decades.”

According to Saha, it used to take the bank three to four weeks to create the environment to build and test applications which has now come down to an hour or two.

Regulatory forces dictating how personal identifiable information (PII) are also driving demand for data management solutions.

“Every country across different geographies — and even within a country different states — are coming up with different data privacy regulations,” Saha said.

“As you start distributing this data across the enterprise to different teams, or even across borders as you do offshore application development, it has to comply with data privacy and governance restrictions of  the time.”

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