Efficiency and agility in business processes drive the growth of any successful organization. ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) tools plays a critical role in delivering the speed an organization requires to access its data efficiently. In the digital age, ETL modernization is becoming a must to keep pace with the growing data and data sources.
The need for modernization of ETL platforms
As the data landscape of enterprises increase exponentially, traditional ETL tools do not work best to handle the complexity of the data from various sources: today, data could be stored on cloud or on premise; it could be static or stream data, and may be stored in repositories sitting in different countries with different data protection laws. Traditional tools were created at a time when the requirement was to manage lower volumes of data and processes. These tools do not meet the modern data landscape requirement.
Traditional ETL product licences cost millions to organizations and hence they seek to employ open source frameworks to perform ETL operations, which enable similar and better functionalities as traditional ETL products.
Legacy ETL tools also face issues while handling real-time data processing from various social media channels. Scalable, faster and flexible environments for new age digital applications ensure data processing is done in real-time. Existing ETL data pipelines need to be modernized to support real-time data in addition to transactional and analytical data workloads conversion.
Existing ETL tools have challenges in providing efficient and flexible metadata management and lineage across systems for robust regulatory and governance needs.
Embarking on the modernization journey
Many large enterprises have been exploring ways to transform traditional ETL platform data pipelines and workflows leveraging open source processing frameworks.
Traditional ETL data processing pipelines, predominantly meant and built over decades for batch processing, are under pressure while open source processing frameworks are catching up with the momentum. Also, these frameworks are well aligned with the Big Data applications for processing and managing huge amounts of structured/semi-structured/unstructured data being generated from several new age and existing enterprise systems.
Open source processing frameworks predominantly supported by Scala/Java/Python programming languages and equipped with out-of-box libraries and utilities, and scalable for huge volumes of data processing on cloud, on-premise and hybrid environments, are taking the centre stage for catering to the digital and innovative re-imagined business scenarios.
The right approach to ETL modernization
There is no easy path or way to convert and migrate thousands of legacy ETL jobs developed over decades in the organization’s landscape to modern approaches such as Spark and microservices based processing frameworks.
Some of the key considerations while embarking on the ETL modernization journey are:
ETL modernization with its cost-saving approaches to transactional and analytical data processing is becoming a key strategy for organizations’ IT estate rationalization. ETL modernization help businesses reimagine their business processes and integrate their enterprise applications data with external systems such as merchants and channels in real-time in a more flexible and scalable manner.
Open Source ETL frameworks helps in building numerous business use cases such as developing customer knowledge graphs for better understanding of the prospects/customers, payment processing of billions of transactions, real-time fraud analytics, compliance and regulatory related data processing pipelines, among others. A right ETL modernization strategy aligned to the enterprise’s digital strategy and the IT estate rationalization roadmap, and an implementation framework and execution approach with the aptly-skilled resources are the key success factors of the ETL modernization journey.
Practice Leader and Principal Architect - Information Management, Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence, Wipro Ltd.
Mohan has 20+ years of business and IT experience in the areas of information management and analytics solutions for global organizations. In his current role, he is responsible for practice vision and strategy, solution definition, customer advisory, consulting, competency development, and nurturing of emerging trends and partner ecosystem in the areas of data and information management.
Mohan is the co-owner of a patent in data management and governance awarded by USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).