Informatica’s fall 2021 launch, which consisted of a new cloud-native marketplace, automated data quality features and new data scanners, comes alongside the company’s return to the market in an $840 million IPO. The announces offerings, from new services to partner integrations, largely complement the Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) platform — the key announcement at Informatica World 2021 in April — and align with what is now Informatica’s cloud-first approach to data governance and management. After six years under private ownership and a significant business model shift to subscription-based revenue, which now contributes over 90% of total revenue, Informatica returns to the public eye ready to convince investors it is fully embracing cloud as the operating model required for a successful, data-led business strategy.
Fall 2021 release targets data consumers
Informatica’s new offerings hit the market at a time when distributed workforces continue to be the norm in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and businesses are requiring more and more data to make critical decisions. In addition, a persistent lack of technical skills is weighing on business leaders and pushing them to look to third-party sources, such as marketplaces, to improve data literacy. Informatica hopes to support an underserved audience of citizen analysts and lines of business (LOBs) while staying true to its technical roots by offering developers a new set of automated tools and features.
Announcing Cloud Data Marketplace
One of the key announcements in Informatica’s fall 2021 launch was Cloud Data Marketplace, a one-stop data shop helping to meet the vast demand for a simpler data delivery process. Available as a service within IDMC, Cloud Data Marketplace allows data owners to publish assets from various on-premises and cloud data catalogs and offer analytics, AI and machine learning (ML) models to end users. The one-stop-shop experience is targeted to data consumers, which may include LOB leaders and their key stakeholders looking for packages (AI models and data sets) to support a number of data-driven use cases from price optimization to improved operational efficiency. When marketplace users ask for a data set that best fits their particular need, program administrators have the ability to approve the request and ask for patterns and data usage.
By bridging the gaps between technical specialists and business leaders, Informatica strives to make data more readily accessible across the enterprise. Cloud Data Marketplace will support this strategy by complementing Informatica’s expertise in the early phases of the data pipeline — from data discovery to manipulation — and will place the company’s metadata catalog in front of business leaders.
Ensuring data quality in the cloud
Informatica remains committed to data and analytics governance, leveraging its embedded AI engine CLAIRE to help automate tasks throughout the data process and provide clients with better control over their data. In the fall 2021 launch, Informatica brought many features previously available within legacy Informatica Data Platform (IDP) to IDMC. For instance, Informatica is offering its existing Data Quality tool to enable customers to profile, transform and manage data in the cloud the same way they could with on-premises data. Customers can also leverage natural-language processing (NLP) capabilities in the back end to create rules, such as setting up their own Data Quality and Business Users. Lastly, Informatica is infusing more automation in the platform, eliminating the need to manually create Data Quality tasks, such as applying health checks.
Informatica reaffirms commitment to cloud partners
To protect its position as a neutral vendor supporting customers regardless of underlying infrastructure or deployment method, Informatica closely aligns itself with leading hyperscalers, offering native integrations with cloud providers’ well-known platform and infrastructure offerings. Expanding on its strategic, multiyear relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Informatica announced it is supporting AWS Graviton, the company’s own processors based on the Arm architecture. This will help Informatica position as a viable integration option for customers looking to run general-purpose workloads as well as compute-intensive applications, such as high-performance computing (HPC), AI and ML. AWS has been emphasizing its Graviton processors for some time, especially as it looks to push out more modern Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance types to customers and capture more critical workloads.
TBR notes Informatica is early to market as many of AWS’ other data partners and Informatica competitors have yet to offer support for Graviton instances. Further, Informatica introduced application ingestion capabilities, a module under Cloud Mass Ingestion (CMI), to allow customers to ingest and synchronize data from SaaS and on-premises application sources into Cloud Data Warehouses. These capabilities support Informatica’s partner strategy, specifically with vendors like Microsoft, which continues to work with Informatica to move clients’ data warehouses to the cloud. Additional partner announcements in the fall launch included the ability to scan data from Amazon Redshift, Azure Data Factory for cloud ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), and SAP Business Object Data Services into Informatica’s AI-powered data catalog offering.