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A Declaration of Data Independence

As the proponents of the DataOps movement, we declare that our data is and of right ought to be free.

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Data usage should be friction-free, imparting Data Consumers with the power to see and access authorized data in all its versions.

To succeed in this, your business must dissolve the barriers that continue to lock-in your data, and arrive at a data-driven interconnectedness that impels hyper-awareness, well-informed decision-making, and rapid execution. In short, you must make a “Declaration of Data Independence.”

Today’s businesses are implementing solutions that deliver data to its Consumers under the care and consent of the Operators who govern it. And if any platform, vendor, or process becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of Data Producers to avoid such obstacles, and to institute new methods to converge Data and Operations, laying their foundation on such principles as shall seem most likely to affect their Data Access, Mobility, and Security.

Prudence, indeed, has dictated that long-established solutions should not be changed for light and transient causes. Experience has also shown that many companies, projects, and IT shops are inclined to suffer such pain rather than to right themselves by abolishing such obstacles. But, when a long train of exorbitant switching costs, project delays, quality failures, security breaches, and data transport costs foment such Friction, thereby holding data even more captive, it is the right—indeed, the duty—of disruptive companies to throw off such barriers and to provide capabilities to truly safeguard our future Data Liberty.

Such has been the patient forbearance of many companies, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to disrupt that Friction. Our present system of virtualizing, securing, and managing data presents a history of repeated injuries to our simplest and most vital goals: growth, cost reduction, risk containment, and speed to market. And it is data Friction that has established itself in Tyranny over our data. To wit:

  • Friction routinely prevents access to data, despite data’s vast contribution to the health of the business, because of the fear of loss of control or exposure.
  • Friction forbids Data Operators from passing on data of immediate and pressing importance, requiring Data Consumers to return for the Assent of Data Operators. Assent is then also gated by ticketing systems that Friction permits to utterly neglect to attend to those same Data Consumers.
  • Friction impedes Data Operators from their desire to accommodate large datasets, unless those Data Consumers relinquish the right to receive data in a timely fashion, a right of enormous value to them.

Data Consumers often need their data in places that are unusual, uncomfortable, and distant whence the data was produced, and the Friction of delivering authorized, fresh data to such places fatigues those Consumers into accepting stale data and quality lapses.

Friction confounds the desire of Data Operators to deliver by opposing Data Consumer’s needs with the limitations of Systems, leaving Operators under-equipped and constrained, thus allowing Friction to trample on the needs of those Consumers.

And Operators find that after a long time, the mounting menace of data breach causes such Friction that it engenders ever-tighter access and deployment controls. This instead of permitting authorized Consumers at large to deploy at will within a well-defined, and personal governance framework. As a result, our speed to market is constantly under danger of project delay within, and data breach without.

Our data population continues to rise among all our systems, and the size of our datasets continue to obstruct our ability to harmonize change in copies near and far. Thus, more and more Operators must refuse to create new copies or to pass along changes in a timely fashion or engage in migrations – as the value of data is judged less than the cost of the infrastructure and resources to deliver it.

At every stage of Data Oppression, we have sought Redress in the humblest terms: Our repeated workarounds and improvements have been answered only by more limited access, greater immobility, and a governance regime that stifles speed. Data Friction constrains the value of Data by these various acts of Data Tyranny, and solutions that perpetuate it are truly unfit to guide the lifecycle of data that has been liberated.

We have not been wanting in our attention to our Data Systems. We have replaced them from time to time with incremental solutions to extend by some small measure their scalability and performance. We have tried to address the data explosion with emigration to private, public, and hybrid clouds. We have appealed to visionaries to find some way to virtualize the last great frontier in IT – our data. And, we have conjured solutions to tie together sprawling data that is in constant flux, and inevitably subject to the limits of bandwidth and the shipment of change. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, and hold Data Friction our sworn enemy in the war to win markets and move data.

We, therefore, the proponents of the DataOps movement, do in the name and by the authority of the Data held hostage by Friction publish and declare that our data is and of right ought to be free.

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