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The Importance of Data Quality and Agility to DevOps


Christophe Bertrand: (00:04)
Hello. My name is Christophe Bertrand. I’m a senior analyst at ESG and I am joined today at Actifio Data-Driven 2019 by Ashish Rege. Ashish, welcome.

Ashish Rege: (00:13)
Thank you.

Christophe Bertrand: (00:14)
Thank you for joining us. Tell us about the organization you work for and what you do for them.

Ashish Rege: (00:19)
Sure. I work for SEI financials. We are located in the Philadelphia region. We’ve provided wealth management solutions for over 50 years.

Christophe Bertrand: (00:28)
Perfect. So you’re the in the middle of what we call digital transformation and clearly using data, reusing data, having a lot of data available to your development teams is critical to you, can you explain how your platform works at a high level and, and why is it so critical that you should have all of this data?

Ashish Rege: (00:46)
So the standard principles of devops, is that you need to have best quality data sooner in the life cycle. The exponential costs of fixing issues later are exorbitant. So we tried to do a shift left and really give production quality mass to our developers, but as a self service. So take all the people out of the equation and really make it self-service driven IT.

Christophe Bertrand: (01:20)
And that’s a tall order. Clearly, lots of data, wealth management, the advisor being at the heart of, of the decisions that they will make or the discussions they will have with our customers. What type of challenges have you actually faced as you worked through this process of making data more available of providing that instrumentation?

Ashish Rege: (01:45)
So usually data was the longest pole in the tent. So it started with data because it was the longest pole, but it helped us because once we solve that then other problems couldn’t hide behind the data problem. If you couldn’t deliver data, then everything else rounded, even if it took two hours or 15 minutes, was irrelevant. But once data was available, then everything else sort of fell in place. So we started with the biggest problem and then went to problems that were easier to solve.

Christophe Bertrand: (02:18)
So making data available to a number of teams and then building back the processes or reengineering the processes to really fully deliver the agility that your business needs to develop applications faster and really go to business faster with a better platform. Tell me about how that has impacted your teams.

Ashish Rege: (02:40)
Previously we started where we were at around 65 teams and doing all this process manually. Once we switched to a data-on-demand solution like Actifio, what we were really able to do is reduce the overhead that each of these 65 teams first had in trying to manage and maintain the data and they really do a self service on demand, latest copies, access to data. It was a complete accessible set across multiple databases, so it had integrity across multiple databases that we could introduce where we had a data warehouse, we had an enterprise database all in sync with all the connectivity and when they connected the application it would just work. The second piece that it really did is now that teams could refresh nightly, they could self manage that refresh cycle. Previously they wouldn’t even even refresh because they either it took too long to refresh or because of the moving parts, they felt that it was an imperfect process and things would break. So it really opened people up to a very systematic approach to getting data and now the developers can actually make changes to code, deploy the code, run that test automatically through the night and have a test report and then repeat the cycle again the very next day. So it improved generally, the QA processing and the self testing the developers did on the data, plus they could actually roll back and re-run because it was so easy to get back to the same point in time. So it had a lot of value in terms of getting better quality out of the door. What also, it meant that teams required less maintenance velocity to manage bugs. Everything else that comes with it.

Christophe Bertrand: (04:32)
So if I were to net out what you just said about the Actifio platform, it’s really first of all, more agility, more control for the developers themselves, the ability to really control their fight with what is essentially very fresh data that can also be rolled back as needed, resulting in a faster cycle to go make those applications go alive. Helping your business and also high quality.

Ashish Rege: (05:00)
Yes, and the fact that it also saved storage. So we are at a five petabyte currently, as of last month, we are at a five petabyte virtual size. The cost of having physical copies of five petabytes would have been exorbitant. But it made it a non issue because it was virtualized copies with less storage.

Christophe Bertrand: (05:25)
You know about money because you’re in wealth management. Well thank you so much for your time and thank you to our viewers for taking the time to watch this video.