Driving Digital Transformation through Big Data
A Stratio Success Story
“Stratio DataCentric came into existence because of a technological gap that exists in the world today” Nacho Navarro, Stratio
What is Stratio? This is a question that we can really only answer now, three years after our foundation by a team of seasoned engineers in 2013. Why has it taken us so long? Because we have been busy pulling together the most transformational and disruptive tool ever to exist in the short history of Big Data. We started with a vision and have made it a reality.
Javier Cortejoso, Gaspar Muñoz and Nacho Navarro reminiscence the journey towards the creation of Stratio’s powerful, state-of-the-art tool: Stratio DataCentric.
The beginning of Stratio DataCentric
The whole adventure started with the vision to create a tool that would help the most traditional organizations through a process of digital transformation. We wanted a flexible tool that could manage all processes, resources, data and that could act as a technical solution to the digital problems that so-called physical companies face today – because the world has changed and there are huge opportunities out there if you know how to leverage them.
In reality, Stratio DataCentric was born out of necessity, due to a technological gap that exists in the world today. In the beginning, Stratio offered a Big Data deployment tool called Stratio Manager: It consisted of a few modules that would help businesses change the way they manage information. But it was simply a deployment tool – no more, no less.
We were lucky in terms of timing. At around the same time that we were starting discussions with some of our major clients – and realising that our manager tool could not cover everything they needed in terms of digital transformation – DC/OS and the whole Mesos ecosystem came into the picture. We realised that we could go so much further in revolutionising a company’s infrastructure and implementing full digital transformation.
Working with our clients, it became very clear that there is a need in the market for a unique platform that would bring together the huge amounts of information stored in different places across different departments. We noticed that companies are often tied down by various service providers and that different systems are used for each task in each department. Making the most of the opportunities available with Cloud, Platform-as-a-Service and Big Data, we were able to take the best of each to create a new solution.
Stratio DataCentric puts a company’s data at the center, acting as a service to all the applications around it. Companies can therefore maximise the use of their data, delegating the technical part to the platform. Developed with open source technologies, Stratio DataCentric can easily be integrated and adapted to a company’s needs.
Making Stratio DataCentric a reality was a hugely exciting and satisfying project. We were working with state-of-the-art Big Data technologies and creating something that does not exist in the market today. It was an incredible and totally innovative approach to technology. “I remember thinking: if we are able to go through with this, it will be an impressive technological discovery” said Nacho, recalling the long hours of shared documentation and white board meetings.
It was a challenge from the start. Not only from the technological point of view, but also in the way we were used to working. We needed to reorganize teams to get the best out of our expertise and adapt to our clients’ teams. And of course, so many top engineers working together meant a lot of diverging opinions, but that is part of the beauty of working in such an innovative environment!
Part of our success at Stratio is that we are strong believers in agile methodologies. A project is not seen as a static or closed process with specific outcomes. During each implementation phase, we work directly with our clients in an environment of mutual trust and exchange, following the three pillars of Scrum: Transparency, Inspection, Adaptation. We may define the initial scope of a project, but we would adapt the outcome to what we discover on the way – to the real necessities of our client – to ensure that our work has a hugely positive impact on our client and is useful.
Our idea is to instil our methodologies and work culture in our clients to provide them with the maximum opportunities for transformation. The journey towards Stratio DataCentric followed this methodology. We worked closely with one of the biggest banks in Spain over a period of time and together we developed a product that would drive the bank’s digital transformation through big data.
What´s new? It’s like the Pets vs Cattle meme.
Instead of different nodes or “pets” such as “database” or “web” or “Spark”, Stratio DataCentric is a centralized and dynamic solution with a single cluster that can adapt to multiple needs and use cases and operate dynamically to reinstance, replace, increase or decrease the application run in any node. The individual node is no longer indispensable, it is just “cattle in a herd”.
Compared to other companies out there, we have been very ambitious. A lot of companies that work with Big Data focus on creating Data Lakes and stores, but when it comes to using data to create applications, it becomes a very slow and arduous task. A huge number of expensive machines – often working at night when they are not fulfilling other roles – and a lot of complex processes to automate tasks are needed. What we offer makes the whole task of extracting value easy at all business levels and significantly reduces the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) thanks to hardware commodity. The developer can focus solely on developing rather than having to configure or install systems and the analyst can explore datasets as soon as they a created or even in real-time.
We offer a full strategy for Digital Transformation: Big Data, independent microservices, highly reactive and scalable infrastructure and deployment included. We are present throughout the whole lifecycle of our client’s data and are possibly the only company that can offer this today. Thanks to Stratio DataCentric, our client can focus on what is important: Creating value.