Working with Pivotal on the Business Data Lake has been a great experience and there is one term that Pivotal use that really resonates – the Consumer Grade Enterprise – with what we’ve been talking about around Digital Transformation.  The idea behind the Consumer Grade Enterprise is simple: Consumer Grade Information Technologies enable companies to interact and serve their customers in the context of who their customers are, where they are, and what they are doing at any one moment.  This Consumer Grade Enterprise is really talking about your business being able to provide – to users inside and outside the business – the slick, integrated, powerful services that we as consumers have come to expect from Amazon, Google, Facebook and other modern consumer facing businesses.

To have technologies that work at this level you need to be able to blend massive amounts of data with the ability to react in real-time, an approach that is beyond any single technology and therefore requires a solution that blends multiple technologies together seamlessly to enable the right type of analytics and decision making at the right point in time.  With the Business Data Lake this is what we are working on, the ability for companies to become Consumer Grade Enterprises in a way that moves beyond the focus around customer information and into all of the information they need to ensure they remain competitive.  As companies strive to become digital organisations then they need their data infrastructure to match the capabilities of digital native organisations such as Amazon or Google, as those companies have shown being digital isn’t simply about storing volume its about the ability to analyse that volume and react in real-time to what is happening right now.

As companies look to the challenge of digitization the term ‘Consumer Grade Enterprise’ is one to keep in mind, would your customers see you as being as incontrol as an Amazon or Google?  Could you see your organisation handling data and information at the scale and effectiveness of an Amazon or Google?  Consumer Grade means being ready for the challenges of digitization and being able to adapt as Digitization becomes essential to the success of your business.