Eyes on Data: The Path Ahead for Cloud Data Management

In today’s information-driven society, there is perhaps nothing more ubiquitous and nothing that is multiplying at a more rapid pace than data. According to Forbes, more than 90% of the data that is available worldwide today was created within the last two years alone. And as the complex data landscape continues to expand, so must the data management capabilities and tools that support it.

In our new column Eyes on Data with The EDM Council, which will be published during the second month of each quarter, we hope to shine some light on the most pressing data management issues that are impacting business across all industries, while offering our views on how companies can approach data-related challenges and opportunities. We’ll touch upon some of the advanced tools that are available, including AI, Machine Learning and advanced analytics, while examining some of the pertinent trends around which data is playing a growing role, such as ESG  (environmental, social and governance) and the usage of hybrid cloud environments.

Data and Cloud on the Rise

There has been an exponential increase in data volumes and according to recent studies most companies are working with two or more Cloud Service Providers. And since data has become such an important asset to any organization, it is imperative that companies establish an effective data management best practices program that can identify not only the opportunities that lie within its data, but the potential risks as well. In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures forecasts that 200 zettabytes of data will be stored in the Cloud by 2025. For reference, one zettabyte is equal to one trillion gigabytes and in 2020, there were about 64 total zettabytes present across the entire internet. It’s no secret then that more robust cloud data management practices and procedures is a “need to have” not a “nice to have”.

Companies— large, medium and small— are increasingly using multiple cloud vendors and leveraging hybrid cloud environments as data sets become more granular. As a result, approaches to data management need to change from being technology-driven to more business-driven and from a centralized to a federated model where data stewards and business owners take ownership of their data.

A Glimpse at Our Column

One area that we will talk about in our series and something we have put a great deal of time and training into is the importance of data literacy across an organization. Firms need to invest the time and resources into training and skill augmentation for achieving data literacy for all of their staff. Organizations can only be data-driven if their employees know how to access, use, understand and protect  data for their respective functions. That being said, it’s also very important that firms employ the technology and personnel to drive an enterprise-wide data management strategy and controls, as opposed to leveraging a monolithic technology solution engineered to solve issues that do not apply to your organization.

But before hiring the appropriate data and analytics personnel and purchasing any type of technology solution, companies need to take a comprehensive look at where they are in their data program, how this aligns with the current objectives of the business, and what the next steps in the enterprise data journey should be.

This is why for the EDM Council’s first column in its “Eyes on Data” series, we wanted to offer a look into our Cloud Data Management Capabilities (CDMC™) framework, which defines best practices and the necessary controls for managing data in the cloud. CDMC was launched in September 2021, and in just one short year has already gained positive traction across several industry sectors. It was designed with participation from more than 350 professionals from over 100 industry-leading companies, four of which included the world’s top Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)— Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and IBM Cloud. As evidence of the need and importance of this program,  this was the first time that the four largest CSPs sat together at the same table and collaboratively developed something for the betterment of all businesses and industries.

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Putting CDMC into Focus

So, what is this historic framework that required 750 meetings and an estimated 45,000 work hours? CDMC is a comprehensive set of cloud data management capabilities, standards and best practices for cloud, multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud implementations. It is structured as 6 key components, 14 capabilities, and 37 sub-capabilities.

According to HashiCorp, 76% of organizations worldwide and 90% of large organizations use multi-cloud environments. Meanwhile, 82% of organizations in the world employ some type of hybrid cloud model, according to Flexera. Even more telling is that 98% of corporations worldwide store at least some of their data in the Cloud.

So, aside from a few eye-popping statistics, what does this mean for cloud data management? Very simply, it substantiates the notion that businesses of all shapes and sizes are becoming more trusting about putting their valuable data into cloud environments and, as such, need to implement the appropriate parameters to ensure its security.

This is why collaboration with so many individuals was crucial to the success of CDMC. Constructing the framework was no easy task and its completion was and continues to be a testament to the diligence of all participating firms, individuals and the EDM Council’s CDMC Workgroup, which was launched in July 2020. The Workgroup is chaired by Morgan Stanley and London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), with project management provided by Capco.

While CDMC began with input from the financial services sector, it was designed to be industry-agnostic and is now available to all industries worldwide–from pharmaceuticals to manufacturing to cybersecurity. In conjunction with the official launch of CDMC last September, Snowflake announced that its Financial Services Data Cloud was the first cloud platform to be independently assessed by KPMG, an authorized CDMC partner, against the CDMC framework’s key controls. The framework is available to download as a free license for internal use to all organizations in all industries.

CDMC also includes 14 Key Automated Controls designed to protect and migrate sensitive data into different cloud environments. This set of automated controls also provides a guideline for firms to align their sensitive data in the Cloud with regulatory and business parameters.

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The CDMC Authorized Partner Program (CAP) provides optional support program for companies that wish to conduct an independent assessment or certification of their cloud data management capabilities. CAP are trained and certified by the EDM Council and are licensed to deliver CDMC-based assessments.

Looking Ahead

Today, the CDMC framework has more than 4,000 downloads and we expect that within the next three years it will be fully adopted as the de facto framework for cloud data management best practices.  In November 2022, we are launching the next phase of CDMC called “CDMC+” which is an open working group examining best practices for Cloud Strategic capabilities to include: Cloud Data Sharing / Data Marketplace, Cloud / Data Mesh, Cloud Data Mastering and Cloud Data Analytics. If you or your firm would like to be involved in CDMC+ please contact Jim Halcomb (jhalcomb@edmcouncil.org), our Global Head of Product Management.

CDMC is built on the principles of the Data Management Capability Assessment Model (DCAM), the best practices framework for managing data and advanced analytics. DCAM helps companies ensure their data is managed as a strategic asset to deliver business and that it can support technology upgrades such as AI, Machine Learning, advanced analytics and other areas of digital transformation. Like the CDMC framework, DCAM was collaboratively developed by companies around the world to ensure its relevance in the real world.

The expansion of data and its many uses in our lives and business are accelerating and so must the way we manage this important asset. CDMC, DCAM and EDM Council’s many training courses are a few of the steps that we’ve taken to harness the potential of enterprise data, but as the old adage goes, it takes a village.

This quarter’s column contributed by:

John Bottega, President of the EDM Council

John is a senior strategy and data management executive with more than 40 years of experience in the industry. John Bottega began working with the EDM Council as an industry contributor in 2005 and served as Chairman from 2007 to 2014. He joined the Council’s executive team as a Senior Advisor in 2014. In 2017, he took over as the Senior Executive and today holds the title of President of the EDM Council. Over his career, John has served as Chief Data Officer in both the private and public sectors, serving as CDO for Citi, Bank of America, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He also served as Head of Data Management for the Office of Financial Research at the US Department of the Treasury.

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EDM Council

EDM Council

EDM Council is the global association created to elevate the practice of data management and analytics as a business and operational priority. The Council is the leading global advocate for the development and implementation of data standards, best practices, and comprehensive training and certification programs. With more than 350 member organizations globally from the Americas, EMEA, and Asia, and more than 25,000 data management professionals as members, EDM Council provides a venue for data professionals to interact, communicate, and collaborate on the challenges and advances in data management and analytics as critical organizational functions. For more, explore edmcouncil.org and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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