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Google Cloud 2023 Predictions: The power of the open data ecosystem


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

The power of the open data ecosystem

By Gerrit Kazmaier, Vice President & General Manager, Data Analytics & Looker, Google Cloud

Looking ahead to 2023, data will continue to be organizations' most valuable asset as they look for opportunities to make their business run more efficiently. I believe that the key to digital transformation for most organizations will be an open data ecosystem that embraces the sophistication of their needs to combine point-solutions with data and analytics platforms across multiple clouds.  

However, in the coming year we will, unfortunately, start to see the industry backsliding into another era of vendor lock-in. Just as the cloud is becoming the center of business, companies are at risk of having limited access to their own data because they're locked into closed vendor ecosystems, with their own proprietary data formats and APIs. This will limit the flexibility and creativity required to drive value from data. 

The concern is certainly warranted. Businesses whose data is locked in will not be as agile in reacting to market conditions and building new apps and services needed to meet customer demands. It also prevents them from collaborating with partners, suppliers and customers and co-innovating across a broader ecosystem. Cloud lock-in can also limit an organization's ability to optimize spend and pick the solutions that best fit their needs, some of which they might already have in place. 

Support for open standards and open data ecosystems becomes all the more important when organizations seek to activate data to create intelligent applications. Data is the foundation for AI/ML driven value creation, and organizations need to leverage open data, AI and analytics ecosystems that let them easily combine and enrich data across multiple sources, internal and external. The rise of scalable and secure data-sharing platforms will be key to creating an open and trusted ecosystem that drives innovation in 2023 and forward.

My colleague June Yang, Vice President, Cloud AI and Industry Solutions, Google Cloud expects to see businesses move toward open data ecosystems as AI starts to become more mainstream: 

"After years of growth in AI adoption, the technology has now hit an inflection point where AI is no longer just for enterprises with the most advanced technology stacks. Today, more and more mainstream businesses are seeing the value AI can bring to help solve their most critical problems and are embracing AI, and I expect to see more and more AI on "Main Street" in the coming year. As these organizations adopt AI, I expect them to start using more pre-trained models and fine-tune the model with additional data as they go rather than starting to build models from scratch, since there are more pre-trained AI models available in the market than ever before. I also expect to see these companies opting for open data ecosystems versus proprietary data stacks so that as they continue on their AI journeys they have the flexibility to innovate and scale faster."

My colleague Andi Gutmans, Vice President & General Manager, Databases, at Google Cloud has an important perspective on the importance of breaking down barriers between transactional and operational in the coming year:

"Organizations' competitive advantage lies in being able to easily build intelligent, data-driven applications. This requires today's developer to unlock and leverage data from both operational and analytical systems and infuse machine learning models into their applications. We believe in the coming years, the barriers between transactional and analytics workloads will disappear. Traditionally, data architectures have separated these workloads because each needed a fit-for-purpose database. Transactional databases are optimized for fast reads and writes, while analytical databases are optimized for aggregating large data sets. With advances in cloud-based data architectures that leverage highly scalable, disaggregated compute and storage with high-performance networking, we predict there will be new database architectures that allow both transactional and analytical workloads within one system without requiring applications to compromise on workload needs."

I firmly believe that digital transformation in 2023 and beyond will hinge on breaking down barriers between data. The organizations that are most successful in doing this will be the most agile and efficient - conversely, businesses that struggle with data lock-in challenges will face the greatest uphill battle when it comes to making their data work for them. While 2023 will see a backslide into vendor lock-in, I expect that in the long-term businesses will realize the limits this creates and will move away from systems that lock down their data. Ultimately, we are all moving toward a future where open data is paramount.



Gerrit Kazmaier 

Gerrit Kazmaier is the Vice President and General Manager for Data and Analytics at Google. Gerrit leads the development and design of Google Cloud’s data technology, which includes data warehousing and analytics. Gerrit’s mission is to build a unified data platform for all types of data processing as the foundation for the digital enterprise. He strongly focuses on the power of data. He is convinced that data isn’t just a technology advancement; in his view it is the prerequisite for our modern world and that it unlocks new opportunities for everyone in the pursuit of our individual, economical and societal goals.

Before joining Google and relocating to the Bay Area, Gerrit served as President of the HANA & Analytics team at SAP in Germany and led the global Product, Solution & Engineering teams for Databases, Data Warehousing and Analytics. In 2015, Gerrit served as the Vice President of SAP Analytics Cloud in Vancouver, Canada. Gerrit studied Business Informatics and Computer Science at the University of Applied Science Constance in Germany and at the University of Nottingham in England.

Published Tuesday, January 10, 2023 10:00 AM by David Marshall
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